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San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopens, to relief of commuters

November 2, 2009 |  9:15 am

To the cheers of Bay Area commuters, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened this morning -- six days after two reinforcing rods and a crossbar failed.

TV coverage from the Bay Area showed the first cars rolling onto the bridge around 9 a.m., preceded by an escort of CHP cruisers. Officials said the last of the repairs were completed overnight and the bridge was deemed safe after final inspections earlier this morning.

The closure was the longest for the bridge since part of the span collapsed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The metal rods and crossbars that failed were installed over the Labor Day weekend in an emergency repair after inspectors discovered a crack in a critical structural beam.

The latest failure occurred at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, dropping debris on the roadway. Three vehicles were damaged but no one was seriously injured. The bridge was then cleared and closed.

The closure of the span, traversed daily by 280,000 motorists, has caused major traffic woes in the Bay Area.

-- Shelby Grad

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