New Bay Bridge Traffic Patterns in Flux

Traffic patterns are off for anyone driving on the new section of the Bay Bridge.

By Christie Smith
|  Thursday, Sep 5, 2013  |  Updated 12:48 PM PDT
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It is slow going for everyone on the new span of the Bay Bridge as drivers take some extra time to see the new surroundings. Christie Smith reports.

It is slow going for everyone on the new span of the Bay Bridge as drivers take some extra time to see the new surroundings. Christie Smith reports.

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The California Highway Patrol is expecting a busy weekend for the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

It's only been a few days since the new bridge opened to traffic, but traffic patterns appear to be much different than on the old bridge.

Caltrans says Wednesday morning that 7,200 vehicles crossed per hour compared to the average of 9,000.

Overall though, the number of drivers crossing the bridge is up slightly.

There are a number of theories about the decrease in per hour number and increase in overall number. People may just be taking an extra look as they drive across the new span. It's also back to school, which means back to work.

The bridge's bike/pedestrian path is also turning out to be popular. This weekend there will be more bike officers patrolling that portion of the bridge.

Caltrans says officers will be metering the number of people allowed into the span because it doesn't go all the way to Yerba Buena Island yet and they don't want everyone to bunch up at the end.

Bay Area traffic managers expect it to take at least a week for traffic patterns to level off.

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