If you somehow missed our multiple posts on the topic, consider this your final warning: for the first time in its history, the Golden Gate Bridge is closing to cars for an entire weekend, starting tonight.
The shut-down begins at 11:59 p.m. tonight (Friday, January 9) and you won't be able to drive a car across the span until 4 a.m. Monday, January 12, as construction crews install that new movable median system we told you all about in this post right here.
11:59? you might be asking? That's a whole minute earlier than I expected! Well, the California Highway Patrol changed it to 11:59 p.m. "to eliminate any possible confusion," they said, which I am reading as "we don't want dummies to have any excuse to try to drive across this thing."
And even before the main event, CHP's going to start closing down the roads leading to the bridge. Here's the plan:
- 8:00 a.m.: Southbound Hwy 101 off-ramp at Rodeo Avenue
- At 8:00 p.m.: Parking lots at the north end of Bridge, and Alexander Avenue at Conzelman
- 11:30 p.m.: Southbound Hwy 101 at Marin City, the Southbound Hwy 101 on-ramps at Spencer Avenue and at Alexander Avenue, the Northbound Hwy 101 on-ramp at Alexander Avenue, and the parking lots at south end of the Bridge
- 11:30 p.m.: Northbound Hwy 101 at Marina Boulevard & Richardson Avenue, and Northbound Hwy 1 at Lake Street
- 11:45 p.m.: Northbound Hwy 101 off-ramp at Merchant Road and Southbound Hwy 101 off-ramp at Merchant Road
People are still allowed to bike or walk across the bridge using the east sidewalk, and Golden Gate Ferry and Blue and Gold Fleet will be running extra vessels to get folks who need it to and from Marin to SF. Golden Gate Transit buses will also continue to run across the bridge, but expect delays: Golden Gate Bridge spokesperson Priya Clemens tells the Chron "they’ll be escorted through construction zones when activity permits — which could mean some waiting to cross the bridge."
And of course, drivers can also detour around the GGB via the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, but don't expect it to be an easy trip. According to Clemens, 80,000 cars typically cross the GGB on Saturdays and Sundays, and 60,000 do the same on the Richmond-San Rafael. So if all 80K of GGB regulars head to the Richmond bridge, a shitshow's sure to ensue.
That's why, officials say, it might make more sense to stay in this weekend. “Stay at home...shop locally, eat locally,” Clemens says.
"Someone is trying to get to a marathon, a special dinner, they are pregnant," Clemens says.
"We tell them we are really sorry. We would love to help you out. It's emergency vehicles and Golden Gate Transit buses only this weekend."