Bay Bridge: History and Design of a New Icon
By Donald MacDonald and
Ira Nadel
(Chronicle Books, $17)

When the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opens in September, it will represent not just a new section of one of the world’s longest bridges but the latest stage in the colorful, 80-year history of the first roadway to connect the two California cities. That narrative is relayed in the new book Bay Bridge, which covers some of the controversies surrounding the project’s inception — from which way the bridges should cross the San Francisco Bay to designs that were proposed and forgotten, including one by Frank Lloyd Wright — and upkeep. It’s a fascinating look into the complex history of this celebrated structure and the decades-long effort to make it a reality.