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SF Bay Bridge construction on schedule

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POSTED August 30, 2013 10:15 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Final construction work on the new, $6.4-billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was on schedule Friday, but bridge officials had not yet confirmed when it will open to traffic.

Paving work was nearly complete and crews were continuing demolition work on areas of the old bridge, bridge spokesman Andrew Gordon said.

"Work is progressing very well," Gordon told reporters at a press briefing. "We have not had any hiccups or hitches."

The bridge closed on Wednesday night. It is scheduled to open by 5 a.m. Tuesday at the latest.

The official opening ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday, but it was unclear who would be there to cut the chain.

Meanwhile, Bay Area Rapid Transit ridership is at near-record levels going into the holiday weekend, as commuters shed their cars for trains in the bridge's absence.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said the system handled a little more than 475,000 riders on Thursday, eclipsing the previous No. 3 ridership record by about 30,000 riders.

Meanwhile, auto traffic throughout the region was lighter than Thursday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Hill.

"We expect the commute to be a Friday light commute," Hill said. "In addition, we expect people to be on their way to their Labor Day destinations."


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