The Bay Bridge will close tonight for five days, a disruption that could cause lengthy traffic delays for North Bay drivers heading toward San Francisco over the Labor Day weekend.
Those who can avoid the City and stay north of the Marin County line, however, should be rewarded with relatively open roads.
"Drivers in Sonoma County can be grateful that they are up there," said Randy Rentschler, public affairs director for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area's transit authority.
The Bay Bridge will close at 8 p.m. tonight, allowing crews to add the finishing touches on the new $6.4 billion eastern span. Work involves paving, striping and removing barriers, bridge officials said. The new side-by-side section will open Tuesday morning at 5 a.m.
Heavy traffic is expected through Marin County as many drivers will use the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge to travel between the East Bay and San Francisco.