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After many years of delays, political and engineering issues and cost overruns, the eastern span of the $6.4 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened Monday night after closing for five days.
Not only is the bridge a new safety structure, but also a piece of art. It features a hybridized self-anchored suspension bridge with a single white tower, according to the Associated Press.
In fact, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newstrom commented on his hope for bigger and better things to come. He said, "I hope this is more than just connecting two land masses. I hope that the progress that's being represented at this moment is for a generation to dream big dreams and to do big things."
The construction of the new span raced against the arrival of the next big earthquake in San Francisco. Now, the bridge will be able to endure even the strongest earthquake.
The pedestrian and bike portions of the bridge are planned to open later on Tuesday.
While construction workers labored over the final touches, a dedication ceremony was held to commemorate all the workers. Around 1,000 people joined for speeches and celebration, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.
"None of us should ever forget that the new east span is first and foremost a seismic safety project," Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, reminded the guests. "And that it is being finished before the next big earthquake. That the bridge is so good-looking is just a bonus."
The bridge's need for reconstruction was spurred by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which caused section of the bridge to collapse and leave a gap in the road. But according to Amy Rein Worth, chairwoman of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the newly renovated bridge isn't all about the reconstruction. She stated, "this bridge was made out of more than steel and concrete. It was made with pride."