By Chris Treadway
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 at 11:45 pm in History.
As we say farewell to the funky, almost always reliable eastern span of the Bay Bridge we reflect back to 1989 and the Loma Prieta earthquake. That was the one time the eastern span failed, and the Bay Area was ready to celebrate when repairs were made to the collapsed section on Nov. 16, 1989. Folks who had registered were given a free Caltrans pass to go to a designated parking area and hop on a bus to the toll plaza. From there, they were free to walk the eastern part of the bridge — up to a certain distance, where a platform was set up for remarks by dignitaries.
There were port-a-potties set up on the cantilever section for celebrants, and loudspeakers so they could hear the speeches and join in as special dignitary Tony Bennett sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
While there was lots of law enforcement along the sides of the bridge, there were no metal detectors and bag or background checks for those attending.