It was a deja vu experience for news reporters and motorists last night as the Bay Bridge was closed indefinitely to shore up a cracked bridge piece called an eyebar. It turns out that parts of the the Labor Day weekend fix – a giant metal splint – failed and crashed onto the bridge.
Caltrans said this morning it doesn’t know when the fix can be fixed, but officials expect it to be “days at the worst.” Read the rest of this entry »
Bay Area bridge operators have scheduled three public hearings on a proposed toll increase on seven state bridges. While bridge operators appear determined to raise tolls, they have many details to figure out.
The view from the toll plaza may soon become even more unpleasant if a change contemplated for next year goes through: the end of free rides for car pools during rush-hour periods. And on the Bay Bridge, regular drivers not in car pools also may in for a shock: higher tolls during peak commute periods than at other times.
Do you have an opinion on the plan to increase bridge tolls and charge carpoolers during rush hour? Share your thoughts with columnist Tom Barnidge at email@example.com.
AC Transit’s general manager is resigning, the agency announced late Friday afternoon in another development in a year full of pain for Bay Area transit in general and and the bus agency in particular.
The agency declared a fiscal emergency earlier this year and projected a $57 million operating deficit last June. AC Transit has been wheeling and dealing to prevent an impending impending cuts of 15 percent to bus service.
Rick Fernandez, who has served as general manager since 1999, said in a statement that he intends to spend more time with his family.
People who take car pools across seven Bay Area bridges may be in for an unpleasant change next year: the end of free rides for car pools during rush-hour periods. And on the Bay Bridge, regular drivers not in car pools also may in for a shock: higher tolls during peak commute periods than at other times.
Bay Area bridge operators disclosed a year ago they were considering raising tolls on seven state-owned bridges by $1 – up to $5 per car. On Wednesday morning, a toll authority committee will get down to the details of when and how to do it.
Toll Authority administrators say they need a toll increase to pay for a seismic retrofit on the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges, to cover reduced revenues from fewer drivers crossing the bridges, and to absorb the higher cost of credit to pay for bridge operations and retrofits.
Antioch and Dumbarton bridges – the newest of the seven state bridges – initially got a clean bill of health after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. But now Caltrans has concluded the two bridges need to be made stronger.
The toll increase would apply to the Bay Bridge, Dumbarton, Antioch, Richmond-San Rafael, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez and San Mateo.
State legislation adding the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges to the State Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program was signed into law Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the weekend. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, makes it easier for the Toll Authority to upgrade the two bridges to withstand earthquakes, toll authority staffers said.
We all remember the scary images of a section of the Bay Bridge upper deck collapsing like a trap door 20 years ago when the Loma Prieta earthquake shook the Bay Area.
Now we can see how the new East Span of the Bay Bridge is expected to perform in a big earthquake. Caltrans has posted a computer animated video on its Web site – baybridgeinfo.org – depicting how a major earthquake will affect the new East Span, which is scheduled for completion in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »
Opponents of BART’s $522 million plan to extend rail service 3.2 miles to the Oakland International Airport will make their case tonight to the Oakland City Council. BART officials, however, contend the City Council’s support is not required, so the vote is symbolic.
Transform, an Oakland based group that supports public transit and transit-oriented development, contends that BART’s plan for a light-rail people mover system from the Coliseum BART station to the airport is too expensive. The group favors a cheaper plan to upgrade an existing bus service along the same route to a bus rapid transit program with large buses running every few minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
In the saga of BART’s response to the police shooting of unarmed train rider Oscar Grant III, a few things seemed destined to happen.
First, the transit board members said publicy they were sorry about the shooting. This was in early January during the board’s first meeting after passenger-shot videos showed a transit officer shooting Grant in the back as he lay prone on a station platform. The office has since resigned and been charged with murder.