SAN FRANCISCO (AP)
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is now closed to traffic, as preparations get under way to open the new, $6.4 billion eastern span.
The bridge closed as scheduled at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday. The new crossing is expected to open Monday night or early Tuesday morning. All large-scale construction has been finished, so bridge officials say crews will be working around the clock to add striping, railing and other final details to the gleaming white span.
It will replace the existing eastern span, which was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and deemed seismically unsafe. The project has been marked by numerous delays, political fights over its design and complex engineering hurdles.
Commuters are expected to experience crowded roadways and packed buses and trains during the closure.
(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)