San Mateo–Hayward Bridge

San Mateo–Hayward Bridge

San Mateo–Hayward Bridge
Aerial view of the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge, with Foster City in the foreground
Other name(s) San Mateo Bridge
Carries 6 lanes of SR 92
Crosses San Francisco Bay
Locale Foster City and Hayward, California, U.S.
Owner Caltrans
Maintained by Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority
Total length 11,265.41 meters (36,960 ft), 7.0 miles
Clearance below 41 meters (135 ft)
Opened October 1967
Toll Cars (westbound only)
$5.00 (cash or FasTrak), $2.50 (carpools during peak hours, FasTrak only)
Daily traffic 93,000
San Francisco Bay Bridges

The San Mateo–Hayward Bridge (commonly called the San Mateo Bridge) is a bridge crossing the U.S. state of California's San Francisco Bay, linking the San Francisco Peninsula with the East Bay. The bridge's west end is in Foster City, a suburb on the eastern edge of San Mateo. The east end of the bridge is in Hayward. It is the longest bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area and the 25th longest in the world by length. The bridge is owned by the state of California, and is maintained by Caltrans, the state highway agency. Further oversight is provided by the Bay Area Toll Authority.

The bridge is part of State Route 92, whose western terminus is at the town of Half Moon Bay on the Pacific coast. It links Interstate 880 in the East Bay with U.S. Route 101 on the Peninsula. It is roughly parallel to and lies between the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and the Dumbarton Bridge, and is sometimes used by commuters to avoid traffic delays due to emergencies on those bridges.


  • History and description 1
  • Tolls 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

History and description

The original bridge, known as the San Francisco Bay Toll-Bridge, opened in 1929 and was then the longest bridge in the world. The original bridge was mostly a two-lane causeway with a 300-foot (91 m) vertical lift span over the main shipping channel. The bridge originally had pole lights along the entire stretch, which were later abandoned except over the vertical lift span. It was replaced with a modern span in 1967. The total length of the bridge is 7 miles (11.3 km). The 1.9-mile (3.1 km) highrise section, the western end of the bridge, is composed of multiple steel girder spans. The eastern trestle portion accounts for the remaining 5.1 miles (8.2 km) of the overall length. The shipping channel beneath the highrise is 750 feet (229 m) wide with a vertical clearance of 135 feet (41 m). The bridge underwent an extensive seismic retrofitting to protect against earthquake damage, with work being completed in 2000. The bridge carries about 93,000 cars and other vehicles on a typical day.

The highrise section was initially built with six lanes and the eastern causeway with four lanes (two in each direction). The causeway section was a perennial traffic bottleneck until it was expanded to six lanes in 2003, along with much needed improvements in its connections with Interstate 880 in Hayward.

Bus service over the bridge is provided by AC Transit's Line M Transbay service.

High-voltage power lines built by PG&E parallel the bridge all the way across the bay. They provide power to the peninsula and San Francisco.

The bridge was considered the worst evening commute in the Bay Area, which ended with the completion of the bridge's widening in January 2003. Funded as part of BATA's RM 1 program, the low-rise trestle portion of the bridge was widened by Caltrans from four to six lanes to match the configuration of the high-rise portion of the bridge.[1]


Tolls are only collected from westbound traffic at the toll plaza on the east side of the bridge. Since July 2010, the toll rate for passenger cars is $5.[2][3] For vehicles with more than two axles, the toll rate is $5 per axle.[4] Drivers may either pay by cash or use the FasTrak electronic toll collection device. During peak traffic hours, the two left lanes are designated HOV lanes, allowing carpool vehicles carrying two or more people or motorcycles to pass for a toll of $2.50. The next three lanes are FasTrak-only lanes. During non-peak hours the two HOV lanes become FasTrak-only lanes.


  1. ^ "Bay Area Toll Authoritty, Bridge Facts: San Mateo-Hayward Bridge". 
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Toll Questions". Bay Area Toll Authority. 2010-06-01. Archived from the original on 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  3. ^ "Toll Increase Information". Bay Area Toll Authority. 2010-06-01. Archived from the original on 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  4. ^ "Toll Increase Information: Multi-Axle Vehicles". Bay Area Toll Authority. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 

External links

  • Bay Area Toll Authority bridge facts
  • Bridge at the California Department of Transportation website (page is out of date)
  • official project links at DOT website
  • FasTrak – San Mateo–Hayward Bridge
  • tolls at transportation information website