OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toll lanes #16, #17 and #18 at the right side of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll plaza will be closed this weekend to make way for the addition of a new FasTrak-only lane designed to reduce traffic backups for motorists approaching the bridge from northbound Interstate 880 or from West Grand Avenue.
Toll lanes #16, #17 and #18 will be closed from 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, until 5 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 26. Drivers who approach the toll plaza from Interstate 880 or from West Grand Avenue, and who pay their tolls with FasTrak, will be detoured to exit and use the two Bus Only lanes at the far right side of the toll plaza, which will be accessed via the off-ramp from Interstate 880 normally reserved for buses during off-peak periods. Wide-load vehicles also will be detoured to the Bus Only lanes. Cash-paying customers who approach from Interstate 880 or West Grand Avenue will follow the usual route toward toll lanes #14 and #15.
The conversion of toll lane #17 to a FasTrak-only lane marks the conclusion of an effort begun last month by Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) to install a new automated toll collection and accounting system at the Bay Bridge toll plaza. Contractors working for BATA, in conjunction with Caltrans staff, have been working their way around the seven state-owned toll bridges performing similar work over the past year, having already completed similar installations at the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, and San Mateo-Hayward Bridge toll plazas. The work at the Bay Bridge will finalize all of the toll system upgrades in the region.
BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the region's state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven Bay Area toll bridges.