Following a year of lane closures and repairs to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, Assembly member Marc Levine (D – Marin County) announced the launch of a community conversation about the future of the bridge and what type of bridge is needed to meet the region’s needs into the next century. As part of the conversation, Levine launched www.TheRichmondBridge.com to provide North Bay residents with a one stop way to receive updates on repair efforts to the 63 year old bridge and submit public feedback through an interactive portal on how the bridge can meet the region’s needs for generations to come.
Completed in 1956, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is an important connection between the North Bay and the East Bay and a vital part of our region’s economic strength. This bridge that 80,000 drivers depend on each day is continuing to show its age. While important repairs to the Richmond Bridge are underway, more must be done. Just as reopening the third lane of the Richmond Bridge will not be a silver bullet to relieve traffic congestion; ongoing repairs to the bridge are only a first step to ensure the safety of travelers on the bridge.
In December 2018, Assembly member Levine met with leadership from CalTrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Transportation Authority of Marin to discuss ongoing questions about the safety and efficiency of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Following this meeting, in August of this year, nearly $20 million in state gas tax funds were allocated toward an $85 million makeover of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. This project is set to begin in 2020.
After replacing all 31 expansion joints along the bridge’s upper deck this summer, work will begin in a few months to replace 30 expansion joints on the bridge’s lower deck along with new paint to protect the bridge’s steel from the elements. Additionally, an $800,000 study by CalTrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority, requested by Assembly member Levine is underway to assess the long-term health of the bridge. This work is expected to be completed early next year.
“Nothing lasts forever, including workhorse bridges like the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge,” said Assembly member Levine. “Now is the time for our community to begin a conversation about what type of bridge will meet our long-term needs. Should a new Richmond Bridge have greater capacity for vehicular traffic, freight traffic or dedicated bus rapid transit lanes? Should we incorporate dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes? Should we accommodate commuter rail, connecting the North Bay to the rest of the region? What should a new Richmond Bridge look like?”
Levine’s website will provide residents with an opportunity to provide direct feedback on what they would like to see in a future Richmond-San Rafael Bridge along with being able to upload digital media to encourage creative interpretations of a future bridge. This feedback will be shared on the website to encourage an interactive conversation throughout the region.
Levine is also encouraging residents to continue the conversation about the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge by connecting on social media @AsmMarcLevine and using the hashtag #RichmondBridge to provide feedback on what type of bridge will best meet our region’s future needs. To learn more, visit: www.TheRichmondBridge.com