While it took a half-century of traffic growth to require a bridge to replace the ferries crossing the Carquinez Strait between Benicia and Martinez, it took only a couple of decades for ballooning traffic on Interstates 680 and 780 to overwhelm the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, also known as the George Miller Jr. Bridge.
To accommodate the growth BATA and Caltrans, as part of the RM 1 program, completed a second parallel span that carries five lanes of northbound traffic. The second span opened to traffic on August 25, 2007 and is named in honor of Congressman George Miller, who is the son of late State Assemblymember and state Senator George Miller, Jr. In addition, a new toll plaza was constructed and features Northern California's first open road tolling system, allowing FasTrak customers to travel through the toll plaza at freeway speeds.
The original span was seismically retrofitted and then converted to carry four lanes of southbound traffic as well as a new bicycle and pedestrian pathway that opened on August 29, 2009.
|FACTS AT A GLANCE|
|LOCATION:||Interstate 680 between Solano and Contra Costa counties|
|VERTICAL CLEARANCE:||138 feet|
|CHANNEL SPAN:||528 feet|
|September 1962 (widened in 1991, parallel structure in 2007)|
|COLLECTION:||One-way, northbound in Martinez|
|TRAFFIC LANES:||Three in southern direction, five in northern direction|
|FY 2014-15 TOTAL TOLL-PAID VEHICLES:||19,585,964|
|FY 2014-15 TOTAL TOLLS COLLECTED:||$109,471,719|