In stunning photos: 1st vehicles cross new bay bridge

Bay Bridge New Eastern Span Opening

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom was one of the first to cross the new, eastern span of the Bay Bridge, in a vintage car. Photo: Pete Rosos

It was meant to happen at 5 a.m this morning, but officials, and those who had worked so hard to complete construction of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, just couldn’t wait any longer. The task was complete, the bridge was ready to do its job.

So — after a two-hour opening ceremony, replete with VIPs, including Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan — the brand new, gleaming white stretch of suspension bridge welcomed its first vehicles at 10:15 pm. on the night of Monday, September 2. Fittingly, for the hundreds working on construction crews on the bridge for the past 12 years, it was Labor Day.

Berkeleyside contributing photographer Pete Rosos — who had spent much of this weekend documenting the bridges, both old and new, for us — was there to chronicle the first vehicles and their happy drivers making the crossing.

Bay Bridge New Eastern Span Opening

Vintage cars with a police escort make their way across the new span. Photo: Pete Rosos

Bay Bridge New Eastern Span Opening

The light trails of some of the first vehicles to cross the new Bay Bridge span. Photo: Pete Rosos

Bay Bridge New Eastern Span Opening

Emergency vehicles were among those that made the historic crossing on Monday night. Photo: Pete Rosos

Bay Bridge New Eastern Span Opening

The new span opened at 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 2, 2013. Photo: Pete Rosos

Bay Bridge New Eastern Span Opening

The new and the old: the new span shows off its gleaming white suspension tower next to the 80-year-old original eastern span. Photo: Pete Rosos

New bay bridge opens, and a safer route to the East Bay (09.003.13)
New Bay Bridge span: 2 minutes, 3 years of building [01.08.13]
Lightning strikes Bay Bridge in midst of dramatic storm [04.13.12]
View from the water: New span of Bay Bridge takes shape [10.05.11]
Sneak peek: Up close on the new Bay Bridge span [02.14.11]

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  • Alina

    Nice! Thank you for all the beautiful pictures this morning :)

  • Guest

    Great coverage, stunning photos.

  • The_Sharkey

    Great photos, Mr. Rosos!
    As angry as I am at the way we all got shafted by this project, these are some really excellent images.

  • Hyper_lexic

    I’ve never really understood the criticism… what’s your concern?

    It does seem ridiculously expensive and late… but as far as I can this is the result of some combination of the complexity of the project and depressingly run-of-the-mill management challenges, not ‘shafting’. But I haven’t been playing very close attention so maybe there’s something more intentional at work.

  • Allison Landa

    Gorgeous photos, amazing experience to cross this historic stretch.

  • serkes
  • The_Sharkey

    I said my piece in the other Berkeleyside story about the opening of the new bridge. Lets leave the comments here as a discussion about the photos and keep the politics to one article.

  • theDeer

    Lovely to see all this! Can’t wait to cross it soon!

  • theDeer: Our understanding is that wildlife is prohibited from crossing the new span. Sorry to disappoint you!

  • serkes

    Not so …. if they’ll get six bucks to cross the bridge, they’ll let theDeer cross too!


  • Lloyd Scott

    Thanks for the pictures. Good luck with the new bridge, may it last as long as the old one. Be safe out there!

  • b64

    looks like there’s a big S curve in this one too.

  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    Gav shouldn’t be sitting like that. It’s not safe.

  • Speaker Of Truth

    laws don’t apply to the 1%

  • cc

    splendid shots, pete. worth all that lost sleep, though i guess that’s
    easy for me to say. thanks for these. we mainland dwellers all have such
    a personal relationship with that bridge, and these photos are my first date with this new one. your neighbor, carol (couldn’t make the sign-in work and no time to fool with it)

  • EBGuy

    His hair helmet will protect him in a fall.

  • 2ndGenBerkeleyan

    Gulls crisscross at will and for free!

  • Shizue Leigh Hicks

    Beautiful photos! Many thanks for sharing.