A plan to add a third eastbound lane to ease congestion on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge cleared a key hurdle this month, after state officials certified environmental documents and finalized the $79 million project’s approval, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).
The approval “clears the way for MTC this week to advertise a trio of construction contracts,” MTC said. The project remains on schedule to begin construction in October.
The third eastbound lane is slated to be open in October 2017, a fix that “won’t come soon enough for many frustrated drivers,” MTC Commissioner Steve Kinsey said in a statement.
The third eastbound lane will extend from the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard on-ramp in Marin County to the Point Richmond exit in Contra Costa County.
To accomplish this, according to MTC, the Main Street on-ramp from the San Quentin Village area of Marin County will need a retaining wall to improve the traffic merge with the new third eastbound lane. Pavement on both west and east sides of the bridge will need to be replaced to withstand heavier traffic loads. A retaining wall just south of the bridge in Richmond will need to be relocated to create safer conditions for vehicles in the right lane.
Additionally, a bicycle/pedestrian path will be constructed on the north side of I-580 from Castro Street in Richmond to Point Molate. And also the right shoulder of the westbound Richmond-San Rafael Bridge will become a 10-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path that will be separated by a moveable concrete barrier.
“This will allow Caltrans to conduct bridge maintenance work during short closures of the path,” MTC said.
The complete project approval document for the Interstate 580 Access Improvements can be viewed here.