Four Lanes at Bay Bridge Toll Plaza to Close This Weekend for Installation of New Tolling Equipment | News

News Release

Four Lanes at Bay Bridge Toll Plaza to Close This Weekend for Installation of New Tolling Equipment

Weekend Work Coincides with Start of Caltrans' Project to Repair Eyebar on East Span
Thursday, December 10, 2009

OAKLAND, CA — The four traffic lanes at the far right-hand side of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll plaza will be closed from 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, until 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, to accommodate the installation of new tolling equipment. The closure affects bus lanes and lanes used by motorists traveling from northbound Interstate 880 – including those who make use of the FasTrak®-only lane. (See aerial view of the affected lanes.)

During the closure, FasTrak users traveling toward the Bay Bridge from Interstate 880 northbound are strongly encouraged to take Interstate 980 to westbound Interstate 580 to access the bridge approach, and use the FasTrak lanes in the middle of the toll plaza.

The closure partially coincides with Caltrans’ planned closure of three lanes of the Bay Bridge starting this weekend to repair the cracked eyebar on the bridge’s East Span (see story). Officials do not expect the projects to impact each other this weekend. (Also, to reiterate, the closed lanes at the toll plaza will reopen to traffic on Sunday afternoon. The nighttime lane closures on the bridge itself will continue for several more weeks.)

Travelers approaching the Bay Bridge during the lane-closure period at the toll plaza this weekend could experience delays, as vehicles in the affected lanes disperse onto other available lanes. “We have scheduled the work to begin on a weekend night in order to minimize traffic impacts,” said Rod McMillan, director of Bridge Oversight and Operations at BATA. “But work will last into the day on Sunday, and we ask motorists to take note of that.” Motorists can monitor traffic conditions in the area by phoning 511 or visiting 511.org online .

The lane closures will allow Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) work crews to install a 50-foot-long overhead gantry structure with new FasTrak electronic toll collection equipment. (See a computer-produced image of the new structure.) The new overhead gantry structure replaces and updates toll collection equipment once housed in the old mini toll plaza that was demolished during the Labor Day weekend bridge closure this past September. “The improvements we are making to the Bay Bridge toll plaza help us to extend our FasTrak capabilities at this key traffic location,” said BATA’s McMillan.

BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the region's state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven Bay Area toll bridges.

(NOTE: Both the planned toll plaza improvements and the eyebar repair work scheduled to begin this weekend are dependent upon acceptable weather conditions. Work could be postponed in the case of strong winds or heavy rain.)

Contact:
Randy Rentschler, BATA: (415) 778-6780
Lauren Wonder, Caltrans: (510) 286-6120

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