san-francisco-bay-bridge-california-1935.jpgConstruction of the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span will reach another milestone Wednesday when crews begin a new phase in the erection of a tower that will rise more than 10 stories above the span.

But Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said today that he hopes drivers will focus on driving safely and not be distracted by the construction.

“This is very large work, and it will be extremely visible,” Ney said.

He said traffic on the Bay Bridge could be affected if motorists slow down to check out the construction work.

The work is scheduled to begin at 4 a.m. Wednesday and continue around the clock until sometime on Sunday, Ney said.

In late July, crews installed the first tower sections on the new self-anchored suspension span. On Wednesday, crews will install four new 107-foot sections, each weighing 617 tons.

Once those sections are in place, the tower be 272 feet tall, a little over half of its final size, which will b e 525 feet tall.

Ney said the final sections will be installed next January but the work will be performed at a higher level and will be out of drivers’ sight.

He said the $6.3 billion project to build the new eastern span is still on schedule and is expected to be completed in 2013.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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