A Metropolitan Transportation Commission committee has voted to continue reducing traffic enforcement patrols on the Bay Bridge's S-curve until they are eliminated in July, a spokesman said today.
The additional California Highway Patrol units were put in place last year after dozens of people crashed on the S-curve, a temporary portion of the bridge that was installed during Labor Day weekend as part of the bridge's eastern expansion construction project.
The three-person Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee met in Sacramento on Thursday and agreed enough additional safety measures had been installed in the past few months that the extra manpower was not needed, MTC spokesman John Goodwin said.
There were 47 crashes on the S-curve between Sept. 8 and Nov. 11, including a Nov. 9 crash that killed 56-year-old Hayward resident Tahir Fakhar when he lost control of the big-rig he was driving and the truck rolled over the side of the bridge, Goodwin said. Fakhar was driving 10 mph above the speed limit when he crashed.
After the crash, the MTC increased CHP patrols on the bridge. Safety measures such as flashing lights, reduced speed signs, and reflective tape were also installed.
Late last month, rumble strips and underground speed sensors were installed. The sensors allow officials to monitor traffic speeds in real time, and patrols can be deployed as needed instead of constantly monitoring the bridge.
"Basically this was driven by cost," Goodwin said of the bridge committee's decision to phase out the extra patrols. "The program was costing about $660,000 per month, and a lot of additional passive enforcement has been put into place."