Brace yourself, Bay Area. The Bay Bridge is closing.
Caltrans confirmed this morning that the westbound upper deck of the Bay Bridge's eastern span will indeed be closed, prohibiting traffic from driving from into the city from the Bay Bridge. Though the rainy weather threatened to delay the project, the closure will proceed as originally planned.
The span will close from 8 p.m. on Friday, February 17 with a reopening deadline at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21. However, officials say weather could delay the reopening. Eastbound traffic will have full access to the bridge during the closure.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The closure will make way for construction on a new detour near the toll plaza. For the next two years, traffic will follow the detour just south of the current path, so construction can begin on the new span's Oakland touchdown.
"The original Bay Bridge's westbound lanes are directly in the path of the eastbound lanes of the new bridge," wrote Bay Bridge Info on the bridge website.
To accommodate the extra traffic, ferries will be beefing up service and BART will be running overnight trains at select locations. (Silver lining?)
Watch Bay Bridge Info's video about the closure, and check out a few of the alternate routes in our slideshow below. Besides, you jaded commuters -- when is the last time you drove over the Golden Gate Bridge?
The old faithful. For many commuters, the bridge closure will have little effect, save for a crowded train. To accomodate, BART will be running overnight service at select locations. (SF bars: prepare for bridge and tunnel.)
Alameda-Oakland Ferry, Alameda Harbor Bay Ferry and Vallejo Baylink Ferry will run additional ferries during the closure.
Alright, if you must drive, may as well drive over an international landmark. The trip is a bit roundabout, but life's a journey right?
Transbay service will not operate over the bridge during the closure, but AC Transit will maintain regular service in the East Bay by operating to and from West Oakland BART. Line 800 all-night buses will connect passengers with BART's special late-night service (except on Tuesday morning, 1 a.m.-4 a.m.) by operating to and from the 12th St. BART station in downtown Oakland.