In a first, the Golden Gate Bridge will close for the weekend

Golden Gate Bridge to close this weekend, longest closure in its history

One of California’s icons, the Golden Gate Bridge, will close for the weekend for traffic upgrades, the longest closure in the bridge’s nearly 80-year history.

The bridge will be closed for 52 hours from 12:01 a.m. Saturday to Monday morning while crews install a new, movable median along the bridge. The barriers allow new, huge "zipper trucks" to change the number of northbound and southbound lanes with traffic flow – a safer alternative to having a person hang outside a truck picking up and dropping off orange pylons, which was the old method.

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FOR THE RECORD

2:30 p.m. Jan. 9: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that 40 million cars use the Golden Gate Bridge every month. It's 40 million cars every year.

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The closure is the longest in the bridge’s history, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

More than 3,200 metal and concrete barriers weighing 1,500 pounds each will be plopped onto the bridge during the closure.The bridge’s pedestrian paths will stay open and ferry service traversing the bay will also be extended.

The speed limit on one section of the bridge will be cut from 55 mph to 45 mph and two lanes will lose 6 inches of width. The project costs an estimated $30.3 million from state and federal funds and toll road revenue.

About 40 million cars use the bridge every year, according to the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District. 

Altered schedules for buses here and for ferries here.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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