Drivers heading from San Francisco to the East Bay will encounter a new detour on the Bay Bridge starting Memorial Day weekend, Caltrans announced today. The eastbound lanes will curve slightly to the right at the end of the decline section of the bridge.
The detour will allow construction crews to build what Caltrans calls the "Oakland touchdown" for the new eastern span of the bridge. The "touchdown" is where the new span will connect with the toll plaza.
Although the bridge will remain open during construction, Caltrans warns that some eastbound lanes will be closed from 8 pm to 5 am on on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29. Westbound traffic will not be affected.
Caltrans officials said that the speed limit on the detour won't need to be lowered as it was with the S-curve, which still causes a near-constant backup.
Caltrans is also releasing an iPhone app that let’s you drive over the new eastern span or as the agency puts it: “The Bay Bridge Explorer mobile app drops you into the driver’s seat and lets you cruise on the new East Span while construction is still underway.”
You can download the app on iTunes. As one satisfied app user wrote in his review, “Too bad Caltrans can't figure out how to get traffic moving this fast in real life!”
If you want see the 3-D simulator, which will allow you to drive the detour virtually, you can go to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco for free public tours every Wednesday from 12 p.m to 5 p.m. The location is One Market on the second floor.