Bay Bridge closure could hamper Labor Day events
August 31, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ” A scheduled three-day closure of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge could undermine attendance at several high-profile events planned for the long holiday weekend, including a free concert commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love.
The bridge is being shut down from 8 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Tuesday to give construction workers time to make progress on replacing a section of the span that was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Having one of the main routes into and out of San Francisco means travelers will have to take public transportation or alternate routes over other bridges to cross the bay. On an average day, about 280,000 vehicles use the Bay Bridge.
The Labor Day weekend was supposed to be anything but average, though, with the Summer of Love concert, an annual art festival in Sausalito and the University of California, Berkeley’s first football game of the season among the events expected to draw tens of thousands of people.
The California Department of Transportation has spent $1 million on a statewide campaign to warn motorists about the bridge closure.
“We’re very nervous about this,” said John Finck, a spokesman for the Sausalito Art Festival. “Not only is the bridge going to be closed, but a lot of the publicity going out is saying ‘stay home,’ and we’ve got a three-day festival going on.”
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Organizers of Sunday’s Summer of Love concert in Golden Gate Park, which will feature a reunited Moby Grape, Taj Mahal, original cast members from the musical “Hair” and dozens of bands that got their start in San Francisco during the 1960s, said they aren’t worried the bridge’s closure will spoil the party.
“It’s really a great plot by all these hippies to make sure we leave no carbon footprint,” joked Lee Housekeeper, a spokesman for the event. “If Caltrans didn’t close the bridge, we would have.”
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