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Caltrans still has no estimated time for reopening the Bay Bridge, but calmers winds have enabled crews to make progress on repairs.

Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said this morning that it's possible that the bridge may be able to reopen later today or tomorrow, but motorists should not count on the bridge being back in service for the evening commute.

"We're shooting to complete the work today," Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said, referring to the repairs to a giant metal brace that was installed on the East Span on the bridge over Labor Day weekend. "The welding is done. We're lifting the steel into place. The wind is better today."

Winds of up to 50 mph slowed repair efforts Tuesday night and Wednesday. Now that the winds have calmed, repair crews can proceed to lift steel parts to replace the crossbar and two rods that fell Tuesday night, triggering the bridge closure. Two other rods in the brace will be replaced as well.

"Once we finish the work, we will have to tension the rods, and test them," Ney said. The tension is expected to take about three hours.

The repairs will be inspected and tested, and the bridge must be cleaned of construction material before the structure can reopen.

There are still too many unknowns about the repair work to make an estimate when the bridge might open.



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