After months of broken bolts, handwringing, and bumper sticker sloganeering, officials announced today the final, for real, yep-definitely-this-time opening date for the new East Span of the Bay Bridge, and it's the day after Labor Day, September 3.

Earlier this week federal officials gave the OK to go ahead with the planned September opening, saying there was no reason to keep the new span closed while crews fix cracked steel bolts in the shear keys. (See also: This helpful NY Times diagram.)

Although the memo from the Federal Highway Administration didn't specifically mention opening the span on Labor Day, it will be possible if Caltrans approves a temporary fix, which they did this morning during an open session vote of the three-member oversight committee.

So, that leaves crews with just two short weeks to put the finishing touches on the span. Part of that final prep work includes shutting down the bridge entirely for five days leading up to the opening in order to complete some necessary demolition work and finish paving and painting the lines.

Unfortunately, since the project has been bobbled around so much we won't be getting the two-day hoopla that was originally planned for the span's opening and included a marathon, public bike rides and walks over the bridge and a fireworks display. Instead, the span will get a "modest" ceremony to mark its completion and possibly a real party sometime in the future, when crews finally repair those defective bolts.

Previously: New Bay Bridge *Still* Might Open The Day After Labor Day
All Bay Bridge Coverage on SFist
[Mercury News]