Aug 26, 2016

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.


  1. Does the MTC have any East Bay representative that will speak to the west bound commute issues that bare a strong resemblance to the evening east bound traffic

    Buzz Baylis | Aug 26th, 2016
  2. Opened as a 3 lane bridge with the third lane closed for less than a year in the 70’s for water delivery to marin, and now $79Million to reinstate the 3rd lane. Does that include a case of KY for the public?

    Darryl Klose | Aug 26th, 2016
  3. Mike – could you please remove the tired old stories and pics on this site? They are ancient and no longer relevant or interesting.

    Darryl Klose | Aug 26th, 2016

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.