A San Francisco ABC News local affiliate reported that the San Francisco Bay Bridge is going to be closed down for five days with all commuting traffic between San Francisco and Oakland detoured to other routes by the California Highway Patrol.
During the closure, BART will be running its transit system 24 hours a day with hourly scheduled overnight trains covering 14 stations. BART's traffic increased by 30 percent the last time the bridge was closed.
BART's spokesperson, Jim Allison, said that on "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."
If you want to drive yourself and need to get around the gridlock, ABC's Waze traffic flow app for your smartphone may help you navigate the commute more smoothly, and the more people who use it, the more accurate the traffic data will be.
The San Francisco Bay Bridge sees nearly 300,000 vehicles a day, and this weekend would be the fourth time in seven years that the bridge had to be shut down. The spokesman for the bridge, Andrew Gordon, said that the new crossing will open either late Monday or early on Tuesday, but exact details have yet to be hammered out.
The California Department of Transportation or Caltrans, has said that they will begin tearing down the old span bridge piece by piece. In nine months, most Californians will notice the old bridge mostly gone; however, to remove the entire foundation down to the mud line would take an additional two years after the bridge's removal.
The "chain-cutting ceremony" that would officially re-open the bridge is scheduled for 3 pm on Labor Day, but Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) will not be present, instead choosing to be with his wife in Michigan.
The AP via the Denver Post has some advice from the spokesman from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, John Goodwin, who advises commuters to simply "be patient, wherever you're going... The Bay Area keeps moving. It just becomes more sluggish."[Image via a Youtube video about retrofitting the bridge]