Thomas Ormsby, his wife Ellen Pacleb and their three children said they were monitoring news updates on Patch of the anticipated opening and piled in the family Prius in time to be among three vehicles tied for first to drive on the new span when it opened to traffic about 10:15 p.m.
It had been scheduled to open by 5 a.m. today, Tuesday, but Caltrans work crews finished the work ahead of time.
Ormsby posted the accompanying iPhone video of the historic crossing on YouTube and told Patch in an email:
"My wife and I would like to thank you for your timely notification of the Bay Bridge opening early. We, an Albany Family, we're tied for first place with 3 other cars crossing the new span last night. It was huge! We felt like we had the pole position in a race. ... Thanks for your timely reporting."
For the record books, the family car is a gold-colored 2006 Toyota Prius, said Ormsby, a dental hygienist who works in the practice of his wife, a dentist on Solano Avenue. Their three children – Mackenzie, 9, Morgan, 7, and Nathan, 6 – attend Ocean View Elementary School.
Ormsby said he didn't note the exact moment their car got on the bridge, saying he was "too excited to look at the clock."
The Bay Bridge was closed Wednesday night so that work crews could complete the switchover from the old eastern span to the gleaming white new one with its signature cable-lifting tower.
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