Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Being a part of history

Last night, we got to be a little part of history. 

In 1989, during the Loma Prieta earthquake, a section of the San Francisco Bay Bridge (from Oakland aka "The East Bay" to SF) collapsed.  People immediately leapt to an understanding that the bridge was seismically unsound, and needed to be replaced. 

Fast forward (?!) 24 years to 2013, and last night saw the opening of the new bridge--and we were there. 

No, silly, not THAT bridge!
We were enroute home after spending the holiday weekend at the in-laws', and heard on the radio that the bridge, which had been closed since last Wednesday night to make the switch from the old to the new, was going to reopen between 9 and 10 p.m. (rather than at 5 a.m. as advertised).  Since we were on schedule to arrive about 9:30, we decided to head on in and hope it would be open when we got there.  It wasn't, but we figured it made more sense to wait than to try to drive around to any of the other bridges (a long way out of our way).  Plus: getting to cross the bridge within minutes of it's opening. 

They were late--more like 10:15, but we got to cross, and I hope the kids remember being there.  The bridge is a work of art (which is a source of controversy in itself, but I'm kind of glad it's not bland--the Bay deserves art, not bland).  Took a while for traffic to get rolling, and there was a pretty good jam at the toll plaza, but then we were on the bridge, with the lights illuminating the single tower and angled cables, and everything shining and new--except the old span, alongside, looking sad and weary (built in 1936, I think).

I don't have my own picture, and to avoid accidentally stealing something not in the public domain, I'll send you to take a look at the photos in the SF Chronicle.

I just hope the boys don't fall asleep in class today, since the delay meant getting home well after 11!


  1. How wonderful to be a part of such a positive event in history-- the collapse was scary. I remember when it was in the news! I hope it was worth the extra time.

    1. I wasn't living here in '89, but it gave us all a wake-up call in Seattle, too! It was worth the wait last night, because we were only a little later than if we'd just gone around in the first place. Maybe no later at all. And the coolness factor was high. It was weird--we pulled off the freeway and stopped at a convenience store, and the place steadily filled up with others doing the same. We could see the bridge from there, and watch for progress, though it was via the radio we knew it was open and we should queue up with the rest of traffic!


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