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Approach to the Eastern Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

September 9, 2014

Ever since the collapse of a portion of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge during an earthquake in 1989, we have all known that this portion of the bridge was just one earthquake away from a total collapse (the western span, being a suspension bridge is not so vulnerable).

In September 2013, the replacement span was opened for traffic, just a mere 24 years after the original partial collapse. After all, this is California–the land of rapid innovation and first mover advantage. For the last five years or so, we watched this structure taking form and shape right beside the the the bridge that had scared the bejesus out of us  generation earlier. Now as we glide over our new and improved structure, we are watching the old bridge in reverse process, disapearing before our eyes.

If you want a more complete history and context of this effort, you can find it here.

This is the approach to the new bridge, taken just after sunset. To find this spot is not hard if you know how to do it. Here’s how to do it:

Take the last exit before the toll plaza and stay on the little road, keeping the freeway on your left. Drive to the very end of the road where you will find a safe place to park (calling this a parking lot would be overly generous.) Keep walking (note-at high tide part of this pathway will be under 2-4 inches of water, bring your boots) toward the bridge for about 200 meters where you will find a small wall–just step over it and walk down to the water line.

Camera: Nikon 800e

Lens Nikkor 70-200mm zoom, taken at 200mm

Exposure: F/16, several exposures combined into one HDR image

Bay Bridge Approach BW2

Approach to new eastern span of the Bay Bridge


For contrast, this is an image of the old bridge being taken down.

Camera Nikon 800e

Lens: Nikkor 24-70mm, taken at 35mm

Exposure f/22, several exposures combined into one HDR image

Old Bay Bridge Early Morning #1 BW

Old Bay Bridge disappearing


From → Photography

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