22 February 2011
The opening of the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be accelerated by four to six months under plans unveiled last week. The bridge in the US state of California will now open to traffic in both directions towards the end of 2013.
The acceleration is being achieved through new detours that will divert traffic away from areas needed for construction.
The original bridge’s westbound lanes on the Oakland side are directly in the path of yet-to-be-constructed eastbound lanes of the new span, along a 305m-long stretch of road known as the Oakland Touchdown.
The previous plan involved shifting westbound traffic to the new span in 2013, and then taking an additional four to six months to demolish the conflicting structure and finish the new eastbound road.
California's department of transportation, Caltrans, will now hasten work on the Oakland Touchdown of the new span by constructing detours on the existing eastbound and westbound roadways west of the toll plaza in Oakland, and shifting traffic slightly south and out of the way of new bridge construction.
The plan will allow construction crews to work between the existing and new bridges to complete the eastbound Oakland Touchdown over the next two and a half years.