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Bay Bridge Closure for Labor Day 2013: 5-Day Closure to Hit Commuters Hard (VIDEO)

Bay Bridge Closure for Labor Day 2013: 5-Day Closure to Hit Commuters Hard (VIDEO)

The scheduled Bay Bridge closure will commence from Wednesday night and will see the bridge closed for an unprecedented 5-day period before reopening to traffic on Sept. 3.

The San Francisco skyline and the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge taken from the air. | (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/File)

The closure will likely cause travel chaos for hundreds of thousands of commuters, who will be forced to find another way back and forth across the bay for work.

Transit authorities have announced that they are piling on a significant amount of extra services to help commuters out and deal with the expected influx onto public transportation.

The BART system will be run for 24 hours a day throughout the closure, with overnight trains serving 14 stations on an hourly basis. Officials running the BART have highlighted that the last time the Bay Bridge was closed over Labor Day weekend back in 2009, the system saw a 30 percent increase in passenger journeys.

"Thursday and Friday it's going to be very busy so we're encouraging people to either use the ferries or modify their plans not to travel in the peak 8-8:30 in the morning and 5-5:30 in the afternoon," BART spokesperson Jim Allison said, according to ABC News.

It has been announced to commuters in the area that AC Transit buses will stop running across the Bay Bridge from 7.10 p.m. local time. The buses will not travel across the bridge again until it reopens next Tuesday. During the closure period the buses are scheduled to run back and forth in the east bay to four BART stations.

"People who normally take a transbay bus could hop on the same bus; it will dump them off at a BART station for the continued trip to San Francisco," AC Transit spokesperson Clarence Johnson said.

The San Francisco Bay Ferries will also be putting on significant extra services. Many will remember that the ferries were overwhelmed during the BART strike, with the usual 6,000 passengers a day increasing more than three-fold to 20,000 passengers daily.

The chain-cutting ceremony for the new bridge span will be held at 3 p.m. Labor Day. It has been confirmed that once the new bridge opens, Caltrans will start the process of tearing down the old cantilever span, dismantling it piece by piece so as to avoid a collapse.


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