Bay Bridge to remain closed until early Wednesday: How will you cope?

That is, if you need to take the Bay Bridge tomorrow.

The announcement that work that led to the bridge’s closure over Labor Day weekend won’t be completed until 5 a.m. Wednesday, not tomorrow morning as scheduled, leaves thousands of drivers to find alternate ways to get into San Francisco. It could also create possible gridlock on other Bay Area bridges and roads.

I have to say I’m lucky. I live and work in Walnut Creek. So does my husband. We actually defied the advice of authorities and went to enjoy a getaway over Labor Day weekend in kthe Big City. Amazingly, we encountered little traffic coming or going via the San Mateo, Golden Gate, and Richmond-San Rafael bridges.

But then, the Bay Area had received plenty of advance notice of the bridge’s Labor Day weekend closure. Caltrans needed to shut down the bridge for a few days so that it could finish work on a 300-foot section of the bridge’s eastern span. The closure had been announced weeks, months in advance. So, people likely stayed away from the city this past weekend or found alternative ways to get there.

But everyone expected that things would be back to normal first thing tomorrow morning.

Now that’s not going to happen. Work on the span hit a snag over the weekend. As KTVU reports labor on the replacement portion will be completed as scheduled, but essential work on a cracked eyebeam will force Caltrans to keep the span closed until 5 a.m. Wednesday.

KTVU says the cracked eyebar was spotted during an inspection of the bridge Saturday, and construction crews scrambled this weekend to complete designs for the repair work and gather all the materials needed to complete the project. The crack was described by engineers as being about two inches thick and halfway through the eyebeam.

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