Bay Bridge toll plaza getting major makeover


The new Bay Bridge will be sleek, modern, and all white when it opens, now on track for Labor Day next year. The brand new administration and tow services buildings at the Oakland foot of the bridge have that same look. Now, it's the toll plaza's turn. It dates from 1989 and while there will be no differences in the way it functions, it will look more like its surroundings.

The $6.5 million required for the work comes out of a pot of money separate from the new bridge. The toll plaza facelift is funded from the ongoing bridge maintenance and rehabilitation budget. Along with shiny white aluminum panels, there will be new crash cushions, paving, and restriping. The work will require periodic lanes closures overnight between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. over the next 6 months.

Next summer will come an update of the 15-year-old toll accounting computer system which should have no effect on motorists but further in the future, the toll-takers themselves could become obsolete as all-electronic tolling takes over.

"Well, I think it's probably premature to say that it's a foregone conclusion, but certainly that is the way the toll industry is headed. I think while there's no schedule, we're going to be looking very carefully at what happens at the Golden Gate Bridge as they introduce all-electronic tolling there," said John Goodwin with the Bay Area Toll Authority.

The transition at the Golden Gate Bridge to all-electronic tolling begins next month. All the toll-takers will be gone by March.

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