Bay Bridge commute backs up

Although westbound Bay Bridge traffic was at a slow crawl during rush hour Monday, officials say the backups were not as long as expected.

Changes to lane configuration were once again blamed for the slowdown, and as drivers adjust to the lane changes, detours and closures, delays will continue.

Officials said at the peak rush hours it took an additional 40 minutes to get over the bridge, while an hour delay was what had been predicted.

“We think during the week it will calm down as people get used to the new lane adjustments,” California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Shawn Chase said, adding that there were no abnormal problems on the bridge during the morning commute.

At the Folsom and Fremont Street exits two lanes now exit while a third rejoins the three westbound lanes that continues ahead. On Saturday and Sunday, Caltrans shut down the eastern span of the bridge between 11:59 p.m. and 10 a.m. while construction crews cut steel support cables and rerouted westbound lanes

Despite the delays, some Monday morning commuters were unfazed by the lane changes.

“It wasn't too bad,” said Jason Harnett, who drove across the bridge at 11 a.m. “I just kept going straight ahead. It's always under construction.”

A 9:30 a.m. trip from Oakland took Eisen West a little over an hour, slightly longer than usual.

“To be honest, I just kept going and didn't really get bothered,” he said.

Still, some commuters may have turned to alternative forms of transportation such as BART. After seeing close to 300,000 people ride its system over the weekend, BART spokesman Jim Allison said the system saw a 3½ percent increase in Monday morning's ridership from Monday, May 22. But it was not certain if the increase was due specifically to the bridge traffic.

“It's certainly a factor,” he said, adding that BART will not run 24-hour service next weekend since Caltrans will not be closing the bridge as initially anticipated. “But, there are all kinds of factors that come into play when you talk about ridership.”

sfarooq@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Epic Cleantec uses soil mixed with treated wastewater solids to plants at the company’s demonstration garden in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Epic Cleantec)
This startup watches what SF flushes – and grows food with it

Epic Cleantec saves millions of gallons of water a year, and helps companies adhere to drought regulations

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Affordable housing has become the chief expense for most California students, such as those attending community college in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
California commits $500 million more to student housing

Called ‘a drop in the bucket,’ though $2 billion could be made available in future years

Most Read