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Bay Bridge reopens to traffic after $6.4-billion upgrade

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened to traffic Monday night, the California Highway Patrol said.

The first cars, led by CHP cruisers with flashing lights, started rolling across the bridge toward San Francisco about 10:15 p.m. Motorists honked their horns by the toll plaza on the Oakland side of the bridge, according to television news reports.

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The bridge had been closed since Wednesday so that workers could put the final touches on a new 2.2-mile span from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island. The section replaces a structure that was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The $6.4-billion project, which was marred by delays and cost overruns, took more than a decade to complete.

"Thank you for your patience, Bay Area!" state officials said in a Tweet Monday afternoon.

On Monday afternoon, officials, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, attended a ceremony to mark the opening of the new span. State officials had initially said that bridge would reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday. 

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