The bright orange catwalks leading to the tower on the Bay Bridge's new eastern span will be illuminated starting tonight, giving residents a sneak preview of what the bridge will look like when it is completed in 2013.
Construction lights have been strung along the 1,060-foot-long catwalks and will be switched on at 7:45 p.m., Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said at a news conference in Oakland this afternoon.
The lights are being put in place to allow construction crews to work at night to prepare for the placement of the span's main cable in early 2012.
The night work is recommended for the installation and measurement of the cables since heat from the sun can alter their length, Ney said.
The lights will allow Bay Area residents to "start to see what this bridge is actually going to look like" when it is completed, he said.
The lights are the same ones used by crews on the construction of the new Carquinez Bridge, Ney said. The switching on of the lights comes a day after the final four deck sections of the eastern span arrived on a ship from China. The sections will be put in place over the next couple of months, Ney said.
For a timeline of upcoming milestones in the Bridge's construction, visit www.baybridgeinfo.org.