The new Bay Bridge's eastern span is set to open to traffic in 2013, some 11 years after construction began nearly a quarter of century after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the old bridge.

Here are some of the bridge's vital statistics and other major milestones:

  • Construction began -- 2002

  • Size matters -- The 1.6-mile state-owned span is actually two bridges tied together and sandwiched between complex elevated connector structures: The 1.2 mile side-by-side skyway curves westward from Oakland toward Yerba Buena Island, where it links with the 2,047-foot self-anchored suspension span, the longest in the world.

  • Fun fact -- The self-anchored suspension span alone weighs 77.6 million pounds, most of it steel. That's the equivalent of 41,000 classic Volkswagen Beetles or roughly the number of seats in the San Francisco Giants' baseball stadium.

  • Cost -- $6.42 billion, the largest public works project in California history.

  • Main construction contractors (partial list) -- American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises and Kiewit/FCI/Manson

  • Designers (partial list) -- T.Y. Lin/Moffatt Nichol Engineers, Donald MacDonald Architects,

  • Opening date -- Labor Day 2013



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