Bay Bridge to reopen at 6 p.m. today

The Bay Bridge will re-open today at 6 p.m., 11 hours earlier than expected, after construction crews finished work faster than anticipated.

Crews finished demolishing the old 350-foot section of the bridge by 11:45 p.m. Sunday night, said Bay Bridge retrofit project spokesman Bart Ney.

They were able to install the new 6,500-ton viaduct Monday after just a little more than two hours. That part of the project was finished three hours faster than anticipated, Ney said.

Originally, the bridge was scheduled to reopen Tuesday at 5 a.m. after it closed Friday at 8 p.m.

The section of the bridge crews have been working on is the lower deck connecting the Yerba Buena Island Tunnel to the new East Span. The bridge project cost $40 million and the new span should last about 150 years.

The now seismically safe bridge will open to the 280,000 vehicles that drive across the bridge each day. The next Bay Bridge closure should be in about 18 months.

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