OAKLAND, CA - Progress on connecting the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge and paving continued through the weekend, making it possible to open the bridge to traffic on Monday night.
Law enforcement and classic cars drove across the bridge expansion during the ceremonial opening on Monday afternoon after the chain-cutting ceremony around 3 p.m.
California Department of Transportation Director Malcolm Dougherty announced at the inauguration that the bridge will open to traffic on Monday night, but did not say specify a time. Initially, the bridge was expected to open to the public on Tuesday at 5 a.m.
The entire bridge was shut down on Wednesday night, as crews completed final work on the new, $6.4 billion eastern span.
Drivers will notice an additional Fast Trak lane from I-880 or West Grand Avenue. Fast Trak and cash drivers are supposed to get in separate lanes earlier than before in an effort to ease congestion.
A bike and pedestrian walkway is also part of the new design, but it won't be completed until 2015.
While the Bay Bridge has been closed, volume was up on other bridges. A spokesperson said other permanent fixes will not require a bridge closure like this one in the future.
News10/KXTV and the Associated Press