Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Congressman Miller to lead motorcade across new Benicia-Martinez bridge

Miller to lead motorcade across new Benicia-Martinez bridge

By ADAM TANGUAY/Times-Herald correspondent

Article Launched: 08/09/2007 07:53:37 AM PDT

August events honoring the new Benicia-Martinez bridge will offer the public a chance to experience the span before it opens to traffic.

The celebration starts Aug. 25, when it will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Waterfront Park in Martinez, followed by an escorted motorcade across the bridge and then a celebration at the Benicia overlook.

The bridge is scheduled to open for traffic the week after the festivities.

"This is the first opportunity for the public to celebrate this accomplishment and participate in a motorcade across the new span," said Amalia Lorentz, Benicia's economic development manager. "I think this new span really opens up Solano County for both people who are living here and commuting. I think we should celebrate that fact and honor all the hard work that's gone into this project."

The events are free and open to the public, but the motorcade will be restricted to vehicles with special placards. A limited number of placards are still available to the public.

The celebration in Benicia will include refreshments, a performance by the Benicia High School marching band and remarks from local officials and Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, who will lead the motorcade.

Lorentz said Miller is a top candidate to become the bridge's namesake.

"It's very exciting to go across this bridge; it will introduce the Bay Area to open road tolling. It's five lanes across so you can drive through at a higher speed and you don't have to stop," said Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokeswoman Ursula Vogler.

"If you are a bridge enthusiast or community member it will be great to come out and see the bridge before it opens. It's a neat community thing to do," she said.

Celebration planners originally set event costs at more than $500,000, but have since cut the party expenses to $75,000. The event was originally planned to accommodate 10,000 people and include free busing across the bridge.

Planners now expect between 500 to 1,000 attendees at the Martinez and Benicia celebrations, while the motorcade will be restricted to no more than 300. People attending the events but not the motorcade will drive across the old bridge to continue the festivities.

To secure a placard for motorcade admittance, call (510) 817-5981 or send an e-mail to the Bay Area Toll Authority at rsvpbata@mtc.ca.gov, with the subject line RSVP. Motorcade.

Solano's Got It!

Solano's Got It!
The Best That Northern California Has To Offer.

Blog Archive