Bay Bridge lanes closed to reduce speeding

November 13, 2009 12:37:10 PM PST
The California Department of Transportation announced Thursday it is closing one to two lanes of traffic on both decks of the Bay Bridge during off-peak hours indefinitely in an effort to reduce the speed of motorists.

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The decision comes after a series of accidents on the bridge's S-curve, including a dramatic crash Monday that killed a trucker from Hayward.

There have been at least 43 accidents on the S-curve since that temporary section of the roadway was installed over the Labor Day weekend, California Highway Patrol Officer Herman Quon said.

Caltrans, in coordination with the CHP, will implement the lane closures for westbound traffic between noon and 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weekdays, between 11 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday and between 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. The westbound lane closure will extend from the toll plaza through the Yerba Buena Island tunnel.

Eastbound closures will be in effect between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. weekdays, between 11 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday and between 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. The eastbound lane closure will start at the center anchorage of the west span and end just past the Yerba Buena Island detour.

Caltrans said the lane closures are part of a greater effort to improve safety on the S-curve.

Caltrans has also recently installed additional safety measures near the S-curve, including extra speed limit signs, reflective striping along the barriers on the roadway's edge, raised bumps between lanes, and a grit covering over a steel portion of the roadway.

Radar signs are also being installed to show drivers how fast they are going as they pass.

The CHP stepped up its enforcement of the speed limit on the bridge Wednesday night and this morning, issuing 34 citations for speeding and arresting one person for driving under the influence. The crackdown was carried out between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 4 a.m. today, Quon said.

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