Bay Bridge work will complicate commutes, visits

Construction and demolition work on the Bay Bridge’s western approach next month is expected to cause confusion and delays for the 280,000 vehicles that use the bridge every day.

Weekend visitors to San Francisco should expect nighttime bridge closures and delays when they leave and commuters coming in for work from the East Bay will face different lane options and a new Fifth Street offramp location — a “major traffic alignment that could be confusing,” according to agency spokesman Bart Ney.

The $429 million project is the second of three major steps in the demolition and rebuilding of the western approach.

Although Caltrans promises to keep commuter traffic flowing during the weekdays by doing the majority of the work during the late-night and early-morning hours and on weekends, backups are still expected.

One warning is for out-of-town drivers who like to stay in The City after midnight: For the first two weekends in June, the lower deck of the Bay Bridge, which takes drivers to the East Bay, will be closed from midnight to 10 a.m. BART will run 24-hour service those weekends.

On those two weekends, Caltrans will also close the First Street and Essex Street onramps to the Bay Bridge from 10 p.m. Friday night to 5 a.m. Monday morning. This is expected to make already tough late-afternoon weekend traffic even more grueling.

“The worst traffic will be on Saturdays and Sundays, 4 and 5 p.m.,” said Dennis Turchon, Caltrans project construction manager. “On an unimpacted weekend, it takes you an hour to get to the lower deck anyway.”

There will also be a new lane configuration for weekday East Bay commuters starting on the morning of June 5 that Caltrans officials expect will affect rush-hour traffic.

As drivers come off the Bay Bridge, instead of having four lanes go straight ahead to westbound Interstate 80, only three left lanes will go forward, while two lanes will head in the direction of the Fremont Street/Folsom Street offramp. The left offramp lane will split, however, creating a bypass that curves around the demolition and construction work being done and returns to westbound I-80.

Although the temporary split is scheduled to be in place until October 2006, Caltrans officials are hopeful that it will only take a few weeks for commuters to adjust to the change.

“It will be slower for a bit while people figure out where they need to go,” Turchon said.

beslinger@examiner.com

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Legal challenge halts SFPD jurisdiction over dog attacks on federal land

Dog owners beware — canine attacks are now consequence-free on federal land… Continue reading

49ers battle with the Saints lives up to its billing

Kittle’s 39-yard catch-and-run had placed San Francisco in prime position for a game-winning field goal as the 49ers trailed 46-45

SF police shoot burglary suspect in Mission District

Man allegedly attacked officers before being shot in first on-duty SFPD shooting since June 2018

Not even heavy rain can stop the 25th annual SantaCon

Jolly, drunken fun event for Santas is the ‘least wonderful time of the year’ for many locals

Ronen says $100M service expansion is ‘going to fix’ SF’s mental health crisis

Compromise mental health plan has backing of mayor, full Board of Supervisors

Most Read