Highway Collapse Causes Transit Expansion

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An early morning tanker truck crash that collapsed a portion of heavily-traveled freeway near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has shut down the artery indefinitely. In response, officials are urging Bay Area motorists to take transit.

Standing near the wreckage Sunday night, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed that the state would respond quickly.

Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency to speed up cleanup and rebuilding efforts. He also authorized free transit Monday on ferries, buses and the rail system that takes commuters across the bay.

Transportation officials said it could take months to repair the damaged interchanges, and advised motorists to use public transportation in and out of San Francisco. They added trains to the rail system, and bus and ferry operators also expanded service.

”People are going to have to find a different way to work and back home in the evening, so we are asking them to plan ahead and do their homework,” said Jeff Weiss, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation. ”This isn’t going to be fixed in a matter of days.”

Nearly 75,000 vehicles used the damaged portion of the road every day. But because the accident occurred where three highways converge, authorities said it could cause commuting problems for hundreds of thousands of people. State transportation officials said 280,000 commuters take the Bay Bridge into San Francisco each day.

Photo: pixieclipx/Flickr 

  • ddartley

    I was very excited hearing about the resulting free mass transit on the radio this morning. Wouldn’t it be positively poetic if this is what turns out to be the real catalyst that finally starts to get Californians out of their motorized combat caskets?

  • brent

    This highway looks fine compared to the BQE. Anyone who believes in the forecasts of Kunstler’s Long Emergency might see this as foreshadowing occurrences that will become more common as our roads deteriorate. At a certain point we will decide it is not worth the investment to repair them.

  • It could take them years to fix it. The connector between 80/580 and 880 (right as you turn right to hear toward the Bay Bridge) coming from Berkeley took about 11 years to finally fix. Crikey.

    Anyway, love the free transit on Monday, hoping people will continue to use BART/MUNI after this thing is fixed. I do know some will use the old route after they used after Loma Prieta – Richmond Bridge to Golden Gate Bridge. Some love their cars soooooo much, they’ll pay the extra in tolls.

    So glad I can live in NYC and not rely on a car.

  • Ugh, that’s “head toward the Bay Bridge”.

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