Yes, we're all very excited for the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. It is surely a marvel of Chinese engineering that now looks glorious in the twilight hours and there's a strong chance it could be standing completed and erect in time for the America's Cup in 2013. Unfortunately, the clunky old cantilevered eyesore next to it could be sticking around for a few years longer.

According to Bridge spokesman Bart Ney (who is delightful, by the way, have you seen his informative video tours?), the process of dismantling the old span which has been around since 1936 could take another couple of years after traffic stops flowing over it. There's not really a plan for its demolition yet - Ney says Caltrans is currently taking bids on the demolition project and will put a contract out in early 2012. The only comparable dismantling project is the Carquinez Bridge, which was half as long as the East Span, and took two years to take down.

Speaking of figuring out what to do with the old girl, it sounds like no one ever took seriously the proposals to convert it to an aerial public space. That project, inspired by New York's oft-celebrated Highline Park, would have turned the bridge into a mixed-use public park on the top deck with hotel rooms and housing lining the bottom deck. Just think, we could have been playing a rousing game of badminton on top of the former roadway we used to take to work. Sadly, that dream was a little too bold for these parts. A brief glimpse at what could have been: