Drivers Line Up As Bay Bridge Reopens Shortly After 10 PM Monday

Drivers lined up to the entrances of the Bay Bridge Monday night to get a glimpse of the newly-constructed eastern span after word came out that it would open hours earlier than scheduled, transit officials said.

The bridge had been closed since last Wednesday while construction crews finalized work on the new eastern span connecting Oakland to Yerba Buena Island.

The bridge was scheduled to be reopened by 5 a.m. Tuesday but the work was finished faster than anticipated and it reopened shortly after 10 p.m. on Monday.

Motorists packed the parking lot of a 76 gas station off the Powell Street exit of Interstate Highway 80 in Emeryville in anticipation of the bridge’s opening.

Antioch resident Douglas White, 48, said he was headed to work in San Francisco for the postal service and was going to take the San Mateo bridge but changed his mind when he heard the bridge was to open between 9 and 10 p.m.

While still excited to see the bridge, White was disappointed that the bridge didn’t open until after 10 p.m., despite the announcement.

“I just want to go to work,” he said.

Two teenagers with their family coming home from visiting relatives in Chico stayed up past their bedtime on a school night for a chance to see the new span.

The family changed their route when they heard about the bridge opening and waited more than 40 minutes to cross it, Rebecca Douglass said.

“They may be tired but I figure he’ll remember it,” Douglass said while gesturing toward 14-year-old Griffen Dempsey and his brother Kylan.

Once the bridge opened drivers flooded onto it, with many passengers and even drivers, despite warnings from the California Highway Patrol, holding their cellphones out of their windows to snap a picture of the Bay Area’s newest landmark.

8:43 PM: The Bay Bridge will be opening tonight between 9 and 10 p.m., hours earlier than scheduled, transit officials announced.

The bridge has been closed since last Wednesday while construction crews finalize work on the new eastern span connecting Oakland to Yerba Buena Island.

The bridge was scheduled to be reopened by 5 a.m. Tuesday but the work was finished faster than anticipated and it will open at some point tonight, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said this afternoon.

He did not specify exactly what time the bridge is expected to reopen but bridge officials said tonight that the bridge will open between 9 and 10 p.m.

Dougherty made the announcement at a celebration held in Oakland this afternoon for the new span, a self-anchored suspension bridge that is replacing an old cantilever bridge that opened more than 75 years ago.

5:37 PM: The Bay Bridge will be opening tonight, hours earlier than scheduled, transit officials announced this afternoon.

The bridge has been closed since last Wednesday while construction crews finalize work on the new eastern span connecting Oakland to Yerba Buena Island.

The bridge was scheduled to be reopened by 5 a.m. Tuesday but the work was finished faster than anticipated and it will open at some point tonight, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. He did not specify exactly what time the bridge is expected to reopen.

Dougherty made the announcement at a celebration held in Oakland this afternoon for the new span, a self-anchored suspension bridge that is replacing an old cantilever bridge that opened more than 75 years ago.

Photo: Phil Ting, Report: Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • phil aro

    What’s with the car heading east on the westbound side? Are we a Commonwealth country now?

    • phil aro

      Yes I know – not every last one is…

  • phil aro

    What’s with the car heading east on the westbound side? Are we a Commonwealth country now?

    • phil aro

      Yes I know – not every last one is…