Hey Northern California, the Bay Bridge will be closed this weekend!

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An important public service message from the Curious Capitalist (photo by Mrs. CC):


There are signs like this all over the Bay area. Have been for weeks. The Chronicle reports that Caltrans is spending close to $1 million to warn people. I’m very curious as to how many will nonetheless be shocked and surprised when they try to get into the City on Saturday.

They’re closing the bridge for another major step in the replacement of the eastern span of the bridge. Here’s how the Chron described it Sunday:

Workers will demolish a 350-foot-long, 90-foot-wide section of the Bay Bridge known as the Yerba Buena viaduct and replace it with a new structure. …

Workers already have built the new concrete piece just south of the bridge, where it rests atop temporary columns, waiting for the demolition.

Instead of using pneumatic hammers and wrecking equipment, crews will try to speed the demolition and cleanup process by using large concrete-saws to slice the existing bridge into 63 pieces. Then a huge crane will hoist the slabs onto trailers to be towed away by waiting trucks…

Once the demolition is complete, workers will use a unique roller system to push the new 6,500-ton viaduct into place. Rails will be installed beneath the structure, which will be lifted by jacks and slowly moved into position, and lowered onto permanent columns that have already been built. Then workers will apply the finishing touches and prepare it for the Tuesday morning commute.

I still don’t entirely get what it is they’re going to be doing. I tried visualizing it while driving over the bridge a couple of times when I was out there earlier this month. No dice. But I do know it’s major infrastructure repair and replacement, and we need more of that, right?