Among the finishing touches underway on the new Bay Bridge East Span last week was the preparation of temporary wooden modules to extend the span’s bike path the final distance to the Oakland shoreline.
The Alexander Zuckermann Bike Path — named for the late East Bay bicycle advocate — will for the first time allow cyclists and pedestrians to traverse the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge by their own power. The path is scheduled to open on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, a short time after the new East Span opens to car traffic. Initially, the public will be able to access two-thirds of the final path, which will eventually extend from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island after portions of the old span are demolished.
The new path features seven observation platforms where walkers and cyclists can stop to take in panoramic views of the city and the surrounding natural environment.
Although construction on most of the bike path is complete, the westbound approach to the original East Span in Oakland interferes with the bike path entrance. During the five-day closure of the bridge over Labor Day weekend, crews will install the temporary wooden modules that will provide access to the bike path from the Oakland side until the old span is demolished. The wood is coated with non-skid, fiber-reinforced plastic.
Initially open from sunrise to sunset, the bike path eventually will be accessible 24 hours a day, once there is a permanent connection in place at the eastern end. The 15.5-foot wide path has two lanes for cyclists and one for pedestrians, which are painted in different shades of gray to aid the visually impaired. California Highway Patrol and Oakland Police Department officers will patrol the path on bicycle to ensure safety, and the mild 2-percent grade meets Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
See baybridgeinfo.org/path for more information, including a map with access points to the path.