The new vehicle lane in the eastbound direction (from Marin to Richmond) on the lower deck will increase the number of lanes from 2 to 3 during the hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. The exact hours are subject to a final Caltrans decision.
Those who want to walk, ride their bike or wheelchair across the 4-mile bridge in either direction will use a new 10-foot wide dedicated Class I path. The 24-hour path will be separated from vehicle traffic by an 18" wide, 42" tall moveable concrete barrier. It will be on the westbound upper deck, so walkers and bikers will enjoy panoramic views along the way.
Construction will start this Fall. The new vehicle lane should open in approximately 1 year and the new pedestrian/bicycle path in about 18 months.
At the end of the 4-year pilot period, Caltrans will report to BCDC on the results of the trial and determine whether the new lanes should be made permanent or removed.
This historic action follows years of effort by both bicycle activists and car commuters to open the bridge to bicycle and pedestrian access, and increase traffic capacity.
I have served on BCDC since 1999 and, during this time, our commission has approved significant increases in bicycle and pedestrian access to our Bay shoreline and our bridges.
Soon, East Bay residents will be able to ride their bike or walk along the new east span of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge to Yerba Buena/Treasure Island.