New SF-Oakland Bay Bridge handles first rush hours

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm •  Published: September 3, 2013
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — New bridge, same traffic.

The gleaming white and newly built $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge handled its first commutes Tuesday with few problems other than the traffic snarls that were common around the old span.

California Highway Patrol Officer Sam Morgan said traffic heading into San Francisco on the bridge around noon was a little heavier than usual, possibly because of excitement about the new bridge.

"Some are making it a recreational event," Morgan said.

Officers have not encountered any instances of people pulling over on the roadway to take pictures of the span, Morgan said.

But Officer Daniel Hill told San Jose-based KNTV-TV that some drivers were warned or cited for taking photos and cellphone video while driving. He did not have exact numbers.

One person also received a warning for driving and taking pictures on the closed section of the old bridge, Morgan said.

"While everybody is excited about the new bridge, please remember it is still a roadway designed to get you from Point A to Point B," Morgan warned.

The first ticket issued on the new span went to a motorcyclist going 70 mph, 20 mph over the posted speed limit, according to the Oakland Tribune. Just hours after the bridge opened a woman driving east was pulled over near the toll plaza and booked on suspicion of DUI, marking the first arrest. And the first crash occurred as well: A three-car collision at 11 a.m. that sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries.