Commuters face 1st morning without Bay Bridge

SAN FRANCISCO — Commuters faced their first morning on Thursday without the workhouse San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, but there weren't major traffic snarls as day broke across the Bay Area.

Alternate bridges to get into San Francisco were more crowded around 6:30 a.m., and Bay Area Rapid Transit trains appeared to be carrying a heavier load than usual. But commuters were managing to get around.

The bridge closed on Wednesday night, as preparations got under way to open the new $6.4 billion eastern span. After a long line of evening commuters took one last trip across San Francisco Bay, traffic slowed to a trickle and then the Depression-era bridge shut down as scheduled at about 8 p.m.

Although several drivers hung back in hopes of being the last car to cross the span, that honor went to a yellow Model A Ford driven by Bob Faber of Richmond, according to the Oakland Tribune.

The new crossing is expected to open late Monday or early Tuesday, but the exact timing is still being worked out, bridge spokesman Andrew Gordon said.

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