Bay Bridge New Eastern Span Opening
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom was one of the first to cross the new, eastern span of the Bay Bridge, in a vintage car. Photo: Pete Rosos

It was meant to happen at 5 a.m this morning, but officials, and those who had worked so hard to complete construction of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, just couldn’t wait any longer. The task was complete, the bridge was ready to do its job.

So — after a two-hour opening ceremony, replete with VIPs, including Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan — the brand new, gleaming white stretch of suspension bridge welcomed its first vehicles at 10:15 pm. on the night of Monday, September 2. Fittingly, for the hundreds working on construction crews on the bridge for the past 12 years, it was Labor Day.

Berkeleyside contributing photographer Pete Rosos — who had spent much of this weekend documenting the bridges, both old and new, for us — was there to chronicle the first vehicles and their happy drivers making the crossing.

Vintage cars with a police escort make their way across the new span. Photo: Pete Rosos
The light trails of some of the first vehicles to cross the new Bay Bridge span. Photo: Pete Rosos
Emergency vehicles were among those that made the historic crossing on Monday night. Photo: Pete Rosos
The new span opened at 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 2, 2013. Photo: Pete Rosos
The new and the old: the new span shows off its gleaming white suspension tower next to the 80-year-old original eastern span. Photo: Pete Rosos

New bay bridge opens, and a safer route to the East Bay (09.003.13)
New Bay Bridge span: 2 minutes, 3 years of building [01.08.13]
Lightning strikes Bay Bridge in midst of dramatic storm [04.13.12]
View from the water: New span of Bay Bridge takes shape [10.05.11]
Sneak peek: Up close on the new Bay Bridge span [02.14.11]

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...