It's been almost a year since remnants of the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge were intentionally imploded, removing the top 50 feet of the E3 pier. We knew there would be more underwater piers to remove, and Caltrans will be back at it this Saturday morning with the scheduled implosion of Pier E5 and expected concurrent bridge traffic delays hitting right when umbrella-sporting festival goers begin boarding buses to head to Treasure Island Music Festival.
Caltrans informs us that the implosion itself will take place between noon and 12:40 p.m., however "rolling traffic breaks" should be expected from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Treasure Island Music Festival shuttle service, which picks festival goers up at Civic Center and deposits them on the island, kicks off at 11:00 a.m.
We reached out to Bay Bridge Spokesperson Leah Robinson-Leach who told us that while yes, both the eastern and western spans will be impacted, at no point will traffic be completely stopped on the bridge. Rather, CHP will intentionally slow traffic down at various points throughout the morning. The idea being that if the demolition crew needs to make a loud noise — either to scare away marine life prior to the main blast or for the implosion itself — officials don't want startled drivers crashed into each other at high speeds.
We also reached out to festival organizers to determine if they have any special plans for dealing with what is sure to be a traffic nightmare, and an official spokesperson said they have everything under control. "We are aware of the Bridge implosion and we have been in communication with Cal Trans and CHP over the past several weeks and expect that any bridge delays will be minimal for our complimentary shuttles."
According to a press release from bridge officials, 8,000 pounds of explosives are to be used in this Saturday's demolition. On October 29, officials will use 12,000 pounds of explosives to implode Pier E4.
For a reminder as to what you can expect, here's video of last year's implosion:
This post has been updated to include the statement from a TIMF spokesperson.