Bay Bridge drivers adjust to new s-curve

September 8, 2009 5:58:57 PM PDT
For the first time ever, drivers are experiencing the newly installed s-curve on the Bay Bridge, where the freeway winds into the tunnel at Yerba Buena Island and the speed limit drops from 50 mph to 40 mph.

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"It was pretty cool. It's kind of strange to float through the bridge and kind of turn. But other than that it was cool," said San Pablo resident Kirk Stewart.

RAW VIDEO: Bay Bridge update from Caltrans

"It went very smoothly and was not a problem at all. You just had to reduce your speed to 40 mph," said Albany resident Kathy Galvin.

The CHP thinks it will be even trickier on the eastbound lower deck of the bridge where it is darker heading into the tunnel. Several drivers were spotted tapping their brakes once they hit the curved portion at 40 mph, but other cars were still driving fast.

The CHP is expecting crashes.

"We are anticipating that people will make mistakes when they are operating a motor vehicle and we are anticipating that because of the new roadways, it may catch some drivers off guard," said CHP officer Sam Morgan.

The best advice from the Highway Patrol is to look farther down the road instead of directly at the vehicle in front of you.

"You can't drive this bridge from memory. You are going to have to reduce your speed and safely navigate that curve and then travel on or into the tunnel," said Morgan.

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