By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007 at 5:35 pm in State politics.
The state Senate has passed ACR 62, which names the new Benicia-Martinez span after Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez. The old span is named after Miller’s late father.
The bill has already passed the Assembly, which means it’s now headed for the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger where it will await his signature.
Let’s hope Schwarzenegger doesn’t dilly-dally.
The bridge officially opens to traffic this weekend and the ceremony might sound funny if the emcee has to keep calling it “The Bridge We Think Will Be Named The George Miller Bridge Unless Gov. Schwarzenegger Thumbs His Nose At the Idea.”
Here are details about Saturday’s opening ceremonies provided by Caltrans’ public affairs office.
Opening ceremony, drive-through procession and community celebration marking the completion of the new span of the $1.2 billion Benicia-Martinez Bridge. Includes unveiling of a plaque dedicating the bridge in honor of Congressman George Miller (Martinez), who will speak at ceremonies in both Martinez and Benicia, and will lead the inaugural drive across the bridge. We are expecting this to be a festive, colorful event with a number of classic vehicles participating. This is also a chance to see FasTrak® open-road electronic tolling in action (though no tolls will be collected during the inaugural drive). Due to safety and security concerns, participation in the inaugural drive-through is limited to dignitaries, the media and members of the public who registered in advance and received a special placard.
WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 25, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Schedule of Events:
9:30 a.m. Public/dignitaries gather at Martinez Waterfront Park
10 a.m. Congressman George Miller delivers keynote at opening ceremony
10:15 a.m. Begin procession to the new bridge for first drive
11:15 a.m. Concluding remarks at the Benicia Overlook by
Congressman George Miller and others
12 p.m. Festivities continue on Benicia side with refreshments
Note: The new northbound span is scheduled to be partially open for regular traffic beginning in the early hours of Sunday, Aug. 27.
WHERE: The new bridge will carry northbound traffic across the Carquinez Strait along Interstate 680, and sits just east of the original Benicia-Martinez Bridge, which will now carry southbound traffic. The second span effectively doubles bridge capacity in this corridor. The event begins on the Martinez side of the bridge, and wraps up at the Benicia Overlook, which offers views of the new span (see directions provided on next page).
WHO: Confirmed speakers include:
· Congressman George Miller· Former State Senator and FormerU.S. Representative John Burton· State Senator Tom Torlakson · State Senator Patricia Wiggins· Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier· Assemblywoman Lois Wolk· Solano County Supervisor & MTC Commissioner Jim Spering · Benicia Mayor Steve Messina· Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder· James Ghielmetti, Chair, California Transportation Commission· Will Kempton, Director, Caltrans· Michael Phelps, Senior Vice President and Division Manager, Kiewit Corporation
Martinez Waterfront Park Site
(7 North Court Street, Martinez)
Directions from Sacramento: Take Interstate 680 South. Exit Marina Vista Avenue. Turn left onto Marina Vista Avenue. Continue approximately 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Ferry Street. Cross train tracks. Turn right onto Joe DiMaggio Drive. Turn left onto North Court Street to end of road. Follow event signs.
Directions from Walnut Creek: Take Interstate 680 North. Exit Marina Vista Avenue. Turn left onto Marina Vista Avenue. Continue approximately 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Ferry Street. Cross train tracks. Turn right onto Joe DiMaggio Drive. Turn left onto North Court Street to end of road. Follow event signs.
For those arriving after 10 a.m., go directly on the old bridge to the concluding ceremonies at Benicia Overlook site.
Benicia Overlook Site
(2055 Park Road, Benicia)
Directions from Sacramento: Take Interstate 680 South. Exit at Industrial Park. Turn right onto Industrial Way. Turn left onto Park Road. Continue approximately 1.1 miles. Follow event signs.
Directions from Walnut Creek or Vallejo: Take Interstate 680 North. Exit at Bayshore Road. Turn left onto Bayshore Road. Turn left onto Park Road. Continue approximately 0.8 miles. Follow event signs.
Directions from Martinez: (The Marina Vista Boulevard onramp to Interstate 680 North will be closed.) Take Interstate 680 North from Arthur Road. Exit at Bayshore Road. Turn left onto Bayshore Road. Turn left onto Park Road. Continue approximately 0.8 miles. Follow event signs.