Bay taking bridge closure in stride

Commuters, we’ve been down this road before. Or, this road has been down before.

Either way, planners are hopeful that this holiday weekend’s shutdown of the westbound Bay Bridge between Oakland and Treasure Island will be much more of a non-event than it was in 2009.

Starting 8 p.m. Friday, you’ll need to find another way to get into The City from the East Bay. The westbound Bay Bridge is scheduled to be shut down from Friday night until 5 a.m. Tuesday morning while crews construct a detour near the toll plaza.

Eastbound traffic from San Francisco and Treasure Island to Oakland will remain open and unaffected the entire weekend. Westbound lanes between Treasure Island and The City will also be open.

While the Labor Day closure in 2009 appeared to go smoothly, a fix applied to the bridge failed a couple of months later, requiring emergency repairs that shuttered the vital traffic artery for six days in November.

Though inconvenient, the outage taught many of us we can survive and get around without our cars and without the bridge. Public transit and other bridges will be staffed up to handle the extra traffic.

As in previous closures, BART will run overnight service hourly on special El Cerrito to Dublin and Concord to SFO lines. Vallejo and Alameda ferries will also provide extra service.

Though light rain won’t disturb this weekend’s work too much, heavy or persistent rain could present some problems. Too much wet stuff could lead to an extension of the shutdown beyond Tuesday morning.