It replaces a structure that was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which struck as millions tuned in to watch Game 3 of the "Bay Bridge World Series" between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. The replacement span is designed to withstand the strongest earthquake estimated by seismologists to occur at the site over a 1,500-year period.
Meanwhile, the new bridge's bike and pedestrian path opened Tuesday, although it does not yet run the full length of the new span. In a ceremony complete with ringing bike bells, the path was dedicated to the late Alex Zuckermann, founder of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and the man credited for persuading Caltrans to build the path.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan predicted the path itself would become a local attraction.
"Just enjoying that will become an experience that people all over the Bay Area, and probably all over the world, are going to want to have," she said during remarks at the opening.
Associated Press writer Terry Collins contributed to this report.
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