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San Francisco Bay Span to Open Sept. 3, Agency Decides

A new span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will open to traffic on Sept. 3, a day after the U.S. Labor Day holiday and 11 years after work began, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said.

Agency officials agreed today to close the existing bridge, which carries Interstate 80 across San Francisco Bay, beginning at 8 p.m. Aug. 28 until 5 a.m. Sept. 3 to finish construction work and shift traffic to the new $6.4 billion section. The decision was made in a commission hearing in Oakland.

During the closure, traffic will be rerouted from an old span to the new east section between Oakland and Yerba Buena Island. The work began in 2002 on the bridge, which carries about 280,000 vehicles a day and was damaged by an earthquake in 1989. It is six years behind schedule. The west portion, from the island to San Francisco, required seismic retrofits and won’t be replaced.

Last month, officials announced an estimated $20 million repair to the 2.2-mile (3.5-kilometer) structure after 32 steel rods failed in stress tests in March. The examination showed that as many as 600 massive bolts that reinforce the east span against temblors may need replacement.

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