The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be closed to traffic beginning Wednesday night in preparation for the opening of the new $6.4 billion eastern span next week.
The span will be closed in both directions from 8 p.m. on Aug. 28 to 5 a.m. on Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day, to complete additional work that must be completed before the new span can be opened to the driving public.
The closure will set off a scramble for motorists to get around the Bay Area.
Treasure Island residents, who live between the western and eastern spans of the bridge, will be able to get in and out of San Francisco during the closure. However, going anywhere else will be a challenge.
NBC Bay Area's Monte Francis shows more on how Treasure Island will be affected during the closure in his video report above.
For more on the closures, visit our Bay Bridge Closure Guide.
The new span will have five lanes in each direction, as the current span does, but there also will be two shoulders in each direction, which means that stalls and accidents won't clog the bridge as often as they currently do, Gordon said.
In addition to being safer during earthquakes, drivers will have a better overall experience when they drive across the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge when it opens, according to CalTrans.
CalTrans says traffic flow will improve, curves will be more subtle and graceful and eastbound drivers will have great views of the Port of Oakland and the East Bay hills.
The main reason transportation officials have been building the new $6.4 billion span is that it will be seismically safer than the existing span, which opened in 1936 and had a deck collapse in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Transportation officials have been planning for a long time to open the new span on Sept. 3 but that opening date was thrown in doubt in March when it was discovered that a significant number of 96 bolts that secure earthquake shock absorbers known as shear keys to the deck of the bridge failed when they were tightened on a pier east of Yerba Buena Island.
The long-term solution to fixing the broken bolts is to cover them with an exterior saddle and cable system that is encased in concrete but that work isn't expected to be completed until mid-December, Caltrans said.