Caltrans: S-Curve is Safe

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Nov 9, 2009  |  Updated 5:51 PM PDT
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In Pictures: Bay Bridge Cable Collapse

The notorious s-curve of the Bay Bridge has caused another accident, this one fatal.

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Caltrans Defends S-Curve Safety

A Hayward man was killed Monday morning when the big-rig he was driving went out of control and plunged over the side of the Bay Bridge.

Big Rig Flips Off Bay Bridge

The s-curve proved too much for a big rig driver overnight. He flipped his rig over the rail and onto the island 200 feet below.
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A Hayward man died early Monday morning as he attempted to get a load of pears into San Francisco.

The unidentified man he was driving on the upper deck of the Bay Bridge at 3:30 a.m.  He lost control at the new s-curve and plunged over the side of the Bay Bridge.

His truck flipped over a traffic barrier, and fell about 200 feet below on to Yerba Buena Island.
 
The speed limit is 40 mph in the area and police said the driver was going 50 mph.

Safety has been an issue on the S-curve since it was put into place Labor Day weekend. Monday's crash was the 43rd since early September.
 
Caltrans was quick to defend the safety of the new section.

Spokesman Bob Haus said there is nothing wrong with the design, adding speed was a factor in "every single" crash.

During the bridge's recent unexpected closure, Caltrans installed  reflectors and raised bumps between lanes on the S-curve so that drivers can  feel the bumps when they begin to veer out of their lanes, Caltrans spokesman  Bart Ney said.

Caltrans also laid down a grit surface over a steel section of the  S-curve to provide better traction, Ney said.

In the next month, Caltrans said it will install additional permanent  signage alerting drivers of the lower speed limit on the S-curve as well as  radar signs that show drivers their speeds as they pass, Ney said.

Caltrans  will also place reflective striping on the barriers along the edge of the  roadway on both decks.

Monday morning's crash caused only superficial damage to the bridge,  but Caltrans said it will repair some signage that was damaged sometime Monday evening.

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