Bay Bridge’s lower deck to close Labor Day weekend

Caltrans plans to close the lower deck of the Bay Bridge for construction during Labor Day weekend.

The deck will be closed at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1 until 5 a.m. the following Tuesday.

The holiday weekend was chosen because studies show bridge traffic is lighter than usual at that time, according to John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Still, more than 3.8 million Californians traveled by car last Labor Day weekend, according to AAA estimates.

“There is no good time to do this, and Labor Day is the least worst time,” Goodwin said, adding that there are no major events scheduled in The City for the weekend and the Giants are out of town.

The eastbound lanes were last closed in June for two days as crews cut steel supports attached to the upper deck. The westbound lanes were rerouted.

Drivers getting used to the new lane alignment experienced up to 40-minute delays the following Monday.

Goodwin said residents living near the bridge said they preferred to only have the span closed for one weekend and it may not have been possible for Caltrans to do the construction later than that.

Crews will tear down part of a one-mile stretch of the bridge that is not seismically safe, and one of the westbound lanes exiting onto Fremont Street will continue on to Highway 101 instead. Goodwin said he believes the new lane alignment will ease traffic flow and not cause any delays.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said the agency is on stand-by as to whether they will run 24-hour service over the holiday weekend, which is what the agency did in June to carry people to the East Bay.

sfarooq@examiner.com

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