Here's Why Bay Bridge Lanes Are Closing This Time

Sunday, Dec 13, 2009  |  Updated 3:00 PM PDT
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Scheduled repairs to the Bay Bridge that got underway Friday are going according to plan, a Caltrans spokesman said Sunday morning.

"Everything is on schedule," Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said of the repairs that are expected to last until the end of the month, which entails cutting out 12 feet of an 80-foot eyebar and replacing it with new steel.

While those repairs are taking place, three lanes of the upper deck on the Bay Bridge and one lane on the lower deck will be closed at night, according to Ney.

He said the lanes even reopened earlier than expected, at 7:30 a.m.

Work crews first discovered a crack in an eyebar during Labor Day weekend, while the bridge was closed so that a new section could be put in place on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. It delayed the reopening of a span by a day so that a repair could be made.

But on Oct. 27, during busy commute hours, heavy winds caused the repair to snap and two tie rods and a crossbar fell onto traffic on the upper deck of the Bay Bridge. The bridge was closed for six days while additional repairs were made, causing gridlock for Bay Area commuters.

When the span reopened Nov. 2, Caltrans chief engineer Richard Land said his agency wanted to develop a better solution for the repaired area that would be more efficient and wouldn't require daily monitoring.

Plans call for the three left lanes on the westbound upper deck of the Bay Bridge to be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights, from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Friday nights and from 11:30 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday nights.

Ney said this weekend's rain didn't impact the repairs.

"The rain is challenging but not a problem," he said.

For more information about the Bay Bridge repairs, visit www.baybridgeinfo.org. For transit information and traffic updates, visit www.511.org or call 511.

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