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How to make the S-curve safe on the Bay Bridge

By dcuff
Saturday, November 7th, 2009 at 9:54 am in Bay Bridge, Caltrans, driving, Retrofitting, Safety.

The Bay Bridge has had nearly an accident a day on the new S-curve that opened after Labor Day modifications of the span. There was another crash there Friday even though Caltrans added new safety measures on the curve during the recent six-day closure of the bridge.

Caltrans took advantage of that closure to add more prominent lane markers that warn motorists when they’re starting to drift out of their lanes, Caltrans spokesman BART Ney said. Crews also applied an anti-skid coating on the metal joint plates there.

Caltrans said they expect the accidents to decline as motorists get more familiar with the S-curve and the need to slow down there. The curve is located on Interstate 80 just east of Yerba Buena Island in part of a new detour that will be in place until the new east span of the Bay Bridge is opened in 2013.

Click here for more bridge information from Caltrans.

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2 Responses to “How to make the S-curve safe on the Bay Bridge”

  1. 16 year vet Says:

    After finally going thru the S curve at night after the new improvements I have to say I am impressed with the way it lights up at night (And I work there!!) – the only other improvement I can think of that *really* works is take a page from Italy’s Highway/Autostrada system – they have sequential lights that actually flash in sequence thru the curve. I don’t know *why* it works, but I know firsthand that people (1) do slow down for it, and (2) the guardrail has very few marks or dings where they do this (compare it to the Richochet curve in SF!!!) It’s usually on sharp curves (READ THIS, CT traffic engineers!).

    Seriously, tho – DO THIS on more of the highways with curves – with the reflectorized stripe (and multi-reflectors on the pavement) You can SEE where the road goes! Add the sequential lights to this – I bet the wreck rate drops further. At least no more trucks over the side!!!

  2. Esther Says:

    Do you know how/why CalTrans designed this S-curve? Did someone think this would be a safe design? Safer than a straight line?

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