Third lane on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge won’t open this week, as assemblyman once hoped

Officers on the way to question #Tolay and her pup.

Sorry, folks. A third eastbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge has no chance of opening this week, as once hoped by Assemblyman Marc Levine, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

Levine, D-San Rafael, introduced legislation in August aiming to force Caltrans to open a third eastbound lane to vehicles by Sept. 30, at least on a temporary basis until design work and environmental review continues on a permanent solution. But this week, he informed the IJ that his legislation has stalled.

In fact, “his bill may not be heard until January as it still sits in a committee,” the IJ reported.

Caltrains is overseeing an ongoing project to open a third eastbound lane, but it isn’t expected to be completed until 2017. Levine believes that’s too long for morning commuters who have endured increasing gridlock. He says the bridge was designed for three lanes in each direction.

Caltrans says opening the third lane is not as simple as it sounds. The current shoulder, once on land in Richmond, reduces in width from 10 feet to 2, which would create a bottleneck, the transit agency said.