The Bay Bridge closure in San Francisco begins tonight.The bridge will only be open to traffic again on September 3.
The closure means that many thousands of commuters will have to find alternative routes if they want to travel across the bay. The last AC Transit bus to use the bridge will be at 7:10 pm Wednesday. It will only return to service the following Tuesday morning. Buses will use the East Bay route instead which services all four BART stations.
Clarence Johnson, a spokesman for the AC Transit service, spoke to ABC about the upcoming Bay Bridge closure: “People who normally take a Trans-bay bus could hop on the same bus; it will dump them off at a BART station for the continued trip to San Francisco.”
Jim Allison from BART, also spoke to reporters about the closure: “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.”
The Bay area is expected to be hit economically as a result of the five-day bridge closure. Venues like Treasure Island and other tourist attractions will be almost impossible to access. On the whole, it is small businesses that will be the most affected.
Brian Kane from The Winery San Francisco, says he expects Labor day to be particularly slow this year: “We normally get several hundred to 1,000 people come by do wine tasting here on the weekend; like last weekend, we he nearly 1,000 people. This weekend, it’s going to be a little bit less.”
Authorities have advised residents and tourists alike to stay away from the area of the Bay Bridge closure, urging them to check local news and relevant websites before setting off.