Bridge closure causes traffic nightmare for drivers in the Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Traffic was snarled all over the Bay Area because of the Richmond-San Rafael bridge shutdown, including parts of San Francisco where commuters were trying to get to the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.

Along the Embarcadero and Battery Street it was full-on gridlock in every direction as of 4 p.m. The frustration was audible, in the form of honking horns and driver complaints.

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"I'm trying to take one passenger to 20th and the other to the airport and it has been 45 minutes! Just from the other side of the street," lamented one ride-share driver who had sat through two rounds of green and red lights near the Embarcadero and Green Streets with little movement.

Another driver, along Front and Green Streets was in high spirits after an afternoon party and took the slowdown in stride.

"I live in Oakland and I had a 70th birthday lunch with my brother in San Anselmo and I couldn't get back home by the Richmond Bridge, so I'm going through San Francisco."

Our ABC7 News van crept along Battery Street, traveling a whopping one block in 17 minutes. Traffic troubles were so bad in the city, even other modes of transportation like the cable car line along California Street temporarily stopped service.

We caught drivers fidgeting with their phones, trying to find a faster way to their destination.

"I got the alert on my phone that it was going to be bad, but not this bad. When asked if he had a plan? "No my plan is to use my GPS and pray it gets better!" says one man driving a sedan.

Another man we found along Battery Street was trying to get back to Livermore.

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"It's been an hour and a half of driving. Long night-- we'll be back by 9 o clock tonight."

His friend texted when we finally arrived at the Bay Bridge. His prediction came true-- traveling 1.7 miles took nearly 90 minutes.

Once all lanes of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge were back open around 7:30, traffic lightened up in parts of downtown but the congestion to get onto the Bay Bridge was still crawling at a snail's pace three hours later.

See more stories about the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
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