Bay Bridge Update | 511 Contra Costa

Bay Bridge Update

Let’s check in on the Bay Bridge bike and pedestrian path, shall we?
After the Loma Prieta earthquake destroyed a section of the Bay Bridge in 1989, Caltrans began pursuing ways to improve the bridge, not just repair it. Now 22 years later, the eastern portion of the bridge is on schedule to open in 2013.
The new eastern span will open with a 15.5 foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path. The new path will run along the eastbound (south) deck. Bicycling enthusiasts are celebrating the span already, especially as the deck emerges in the ongoing construction. Can you wait to bike to Treasure Island on this?

Not to disparage Treasure Island, but why not go all the way to San Francisco? Especially as the few remaining gaps in the Bay Trail are filled, bicyclists are demanding (and getting) safe and extensive regional corridors access. Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission agree, and released a feasibility study for a bike/ped path on the western span of the bridge in 2001.
On the western span, pathways would cantilever off either side of the bridge. These pathways are being designed to serve multiple functions, such as a place for maintenance crews and emergency vehicles (reducing the need to close traffic lanes).

Plus, imagine the view.

Other Bay Bridge Trivia:

  • When the eastern portion of the bridge opens, the 1.2 mile section from Yerba Buena Island to Oakland will be the longest span supported by a single tower.┬áMost suspension bridges have two or more towers.
  • The fourth piece of the tower was addd earlier this month, and the fifth and final piece should go into place in April.
  • The final tower will be 525 feet above the water.
  • The tower and suspension cables will create an asymmetrical profile.
  • The new span will also feature side-by-side decks, instead of the current double-decked structure.
  • The full bike route:

Pictures are from the SF Citizen and SF Bike Coalition.

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