The Harrison Street off-ramp reopens to westbound traffic at 5 a.m. Monday, February 9, 2009, after being closed for more than three years to accommodate seismic retrofit work on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
The off-ramp – which closed September 6, 2005 – gives traffic direct access to Harrison Street and will help alleviate congestion during the morning commute. The Harrison Street off-ramp is the last ramp to reopen as part of the retrofit of the West Approach, which runs along Interstate 80 from 5th Street all the way to the Bay Bridge Anchorage at Beale Street. This project involved completely removing and replacing a one-mile section of I-80 and a total of six on- and off-ramps within the structure’s original footprint.
The Harrison Street off-ramp was originally built as an on-ramp in 1936, and was converted to an off-ramp when the bridge was reoriented to carry only westbound traffic on its upper deck.
Along with the reopening of the off-ramp, the westbound lanes on the West Approach and the Fremont Street/Folsom Street off-ramp will be restriped in their final alignment. In mid-February the final alignment of the 5th Street Ramps and the eastbound mainline will be put into place. This will make 10-foot shoulders available to motorists coming through the area for the first time. The western side of the Bay Bridge from Yerba Buena Island through to the 5th Street ramps in San Francisco is now fully seismically retrofitted.
The West Approach is one of several monumental seismic projects funded by MTC’s Bay Area Toll Authority, which has been working hand in hand with Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission to deliver the projects on time and on budget.
All construction work related to the ramp opening is weather dependent and subject to change. For more information about the Bay Bridge Seismic Retrofit Projects, please visit www.BayBridgeInfo.org.