Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I know, I know! The Golden Gate Bridge is the one that gets all the attention, but there really are two bridges that connect to San Francisco.

 The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic in November, 1936. My sister Frances worked as a secretary for the bay bridge administration even before the bridge was officially opened. They worked out of an office building in downtown San Francisco until the opening, and then moved out to the office adjacent to the toll booths on the Oakland side of the bridge.

My dad used to drive my sister to work, and he was allowed to turn in front of the toll gates, drop my sister off for work, and return to the City without going through the toll gates. Apparently he got a big kick out of being able to drive most of the bridge without having to pay any toll.

This is the cantilever side of the bridge .

The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge is really two bridges. The San Francisco side connects to Yerba Buena island, and then the second half, which was a cantilevered section, continued from there to Oakland. Then in 1989 a severe earthquake collapsed a section of the roadway on the cantilever side, and the bridge was closed for a month. It was decided that a new eastern span had to be built.

Construction was started in 2002, and just opened on September 2 this year.   However, the work is not over. Now they have to tear down the old cantilever section, and they estimate that job will take another three years.

Here you can see the new section (on the left)
under construction.

Another construction view.

Night view, San Francisco side

Day view, new span

Night view, new span

Bridge related humor –

According to the 2010 census, Yerba Buena Island has a population of 2,500. But that does not take into account something I learned many years ago. The eastern and western spans of the bridge connect at the island, and there is a tunnel that goes right through the island.

What that 2010 census did not take into account is that Yerba Buena Island has the largest underground transient population in the world!


  1. Oh that's funny!

    And from up in the Oakland foothills the other night, we could see that white tower with what could only be called a cherry on top.