First cars cross SF-Oakland Bay Bridge’s new span

SAN FRANCISCO — 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 morning commute Tuesday with few problems other than the traffic snarls that were common around the toll plaza of 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.

But he said the CHP has not encountered any instances of people pulling over on the roadway to take pictures of the span.

The new span opened Monday, hours after an inaugural chain-cutting ceremony.

It replaces a span that was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The bridge’s bike and pedestrian path opened Tuesday.

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