Animation Shows Driver's View of New Bay Bridge - NBC Bay Area

Animation Shows Driver's View of New Bay Bridge

The $6.4 billion span will open in a matter of days



    ANIMATION: Driver's View of New Bay Bridge

    This video, provided by Caltrans, shows drivers their new ride across the bay once the new Bay Bridge opens on Sept. 3. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013)

    Caltrans has released a new animation that shows drivers what it will be like to commute across the new Bay Bridge.

    The new eastern span of the bridge is scheduled to open to drivers on Tuesday morning Sept. 3.

    The new span will have parallel side-by-side decks, in contrast to the current bridge, which has an eastbound lower deck and a westbound upper deck, so the drive will have a more open feel. 

    Traffic flow is also expected to improve, as curves are described as more subtle and graceful.

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    According to Caltrans, drivers are supposed to have a better overall experience, and although they need to keep their eyes on the road, the views are supposed to be spectacular heading out of the City as you come upon the Port of Oakland and the East Bay hills.

    "Keep the gawking for their passengers," Caltrans spokesman Andrew Gordon said.

    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, maintenance work on the bridge can be done without closing lanes, he said.   

    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.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.