Bay Bridge ready for Friday commute?

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Crews working on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge are replacing four steel rods.

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Chances have increased slightly that the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will reopen in time for the Friday morning commute, transportation officials said Thursday evening.

The 73-year-old bridge spans the San Francisco Bay and carries an average of 280,000 vehicles daily, according to the state transportation department. In the wake of the bridge’s closing, commuters flocked to the Bay Area’s rail system as an alternative. On Wednesday, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) said it had carried the most passengers ever. About 437,200 people took BART, about 26 percent more than on an average Wednesday, the agency said in a news release. When the Bay Bridge does reopen, Bonner said, travelers should not worry about safety. “The public need not fear that the bridge is going to fall down,” he said. “There’s no concern about that.” During the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, a 50-foot section of the bridge collapsed, killing one person and prompting efforts to make it quake-tolerant.