Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 290: "Zipper Truck" Project on Golden Gate Bridge

When Mr. E and I drove to San Francisco this weekend, I noticed a sign on I-80 near Berkeley indicating that the Golden Gate Bridge was closed and to use I-580 if going to Marin. I wondered why the Bridge was closed, and Mr. E said that he'd seen a story about a project to install medians on the bridge to help accommodate heavy traffic times by using the "zipper truck."

We're familiar with this type of traffic control from the Boston area, where the HOV lane on I-93 (the Southeast Expressway) has been in place for many years. This mechanism shifts concrete barriers from one side of the highway to another so that the newly-isolated lane can be dedicated to traffic going in one direction rather than the other, i.e. into Boston during the morning rush hour, and out of Boston during the evening rush hour.

Here's an aerial view of what happens inside the truck and a photo of the truck itself in action:

For the Golden Gate Bridge, part of the motivation for installing the barriers was related to safety concerns related to head-on collisions. On Saturday evening, we caught part of a news story on a local San Francisco TV network that provided an update of the project, so I assume that the zipper trucks and barrier adjustments have now been implemented.

I wonder if that will somehow impact the route of the San Francisco marathon?  I have very fond memories of running across the Golden Gate Bridge when I ran that marathon in 2009.  I can't imagine that having the new barriers would make a difference -- it would probably just make it even safe for the runners to take over a lane for the race.


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