Part of the ambiance of living in the Bay Area is homey sight of people dropping a line in the water in hopes of catching dinner. For some time now, that sight has been missing from the Fruitvale Bridge fishing platforms, both on the Alameda and Oakland sides. For months, the gate has been locked. Damage to the pilings after a tugboat incident prompted the county to send fishermen and fisherwomen and fisherkids elsewhere, said Ruben Briones in County Superintendent Alice Lai Bitker’s office. Unfortunately, the county hasn’t been able to drum up the fix-it funds yet. The same is true for the planned seismic work on the Fruitvale Bridge. A contractor has been awarded the job, but so far, the buck has stopped at that point. Add to that the potential partial closure of the Fruitvale, Park Street and High Street bridges if the county, which maintains and operates those draw bridges, loses its gas tax revenues to the state. These are not good days for our bridges.
It’ll be a time of going from Point A to Point B via a detour during seismic upgrade work on the High Street Bridge from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday (beginning this Wednesday). The work will continue through Sept. 1. Most of us are on automatic pilot when it comes to our routine routes so this will surely cause some turn-arounds until drivers get used to the idea of the closed bridge.
It’ll also add congestion to the other Island exits, so while you’re on the road, breathe deeply, count to 10 and be grateful that these extended bridge closures don’t happen often. As for the residents near the bridge, enjoy the days of decreased traffic noise (assuming the seismic work doesn’t make too much racket).
Seismic work on the Park Street Bridge is nearly completed and required closing only partial closure.