Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvements

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) funds and coordinates projects to ease congestion and make bicycle and pedestrian traffic safer along the Interstate 580 Richmond-San Rafael corridor.

Reducing Congestion and Increasing Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety

Completed and continuing improvements on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge are going a long way towards reducing traffic congestion and increasing safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Drivers have seen major improvements through the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge corridor, following work to convert the eastbound shoulder into a peak period use travel lane during the afternoon/evening rush hour.

Open-road tolling and other planned improvements will ease congestion on the westbound I-580 approach in Contra Costa County.

Bicycle & Pedestrian Bay Trail Access

The bicycle and pedestrian path across the upper deck is a key part of the Bay Trail network.

Walk or bike the bridge.
Aerial photo of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and bike/pedestrian path

Completed Pilot Projects

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge users are already seeing the benefits of these projects completed by the Bay Area Toll Authority and partners:

  • A third vehicle lane for peak use opened on the lower deck in 2018
  • A six-mile bicycle/pedestrian path opened on the upper deck for public use in 2019, completing an important link in the Bay Trail
  • A project on the Sir Francis Drake offramp in 2020 added new striping, signage and safety improvements for cyclists

Pilot Study Report (Phase I)

Caltrans and UC Berkeley PATH have completed the Phase I After Study for the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvements Project. Read the Phase I report on the Caltrans website.

The Phase II Final Report is ongoing and is expected to be completed in Summer 2024.

Bicycle Safety on Sir Francis Drake

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA)’s latest Richmond-San Rafael Bridge project added multiple improvements to the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard offramp, including:

  • A moveable barrier to protect cyclists from vehicles
  • Improved signage
  • Pavement striping
  • Pavement markers

The new bikeway offers improved bicycle trail linkage to transportation hubs and commute destinations in southern Marin County, such as Sonoma-Marin Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Larkspur Station, Central Marin Ferry (Larkspur) Terminal, and the adjacent towns and cities.

Did You Know?

The barrier protecting pedestrians and cyclists can be moved by a “zipper truck” to allow BATA and Caltrans to conduct nightly bridge maintenance. Each segment of the barrier weighs 1,500 pounds!

 A pedestrian on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge path

Future Projects: Widening the Path & Increasing Safety

The completed pilot projects opened a new active transportation link between Marin and Contra Costa Counties. They highlight the need to improve convenient direct connectivity from East Francisco Boulevard to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Andersen Drive, and Cal Park Hill Pathway corridors for bicycles.

One such project, the Shared-Use Gap Closure along East Francisco Blvd., will widen approximately 2,000 feet of existing sidewalk to allow bi-directional bike and pedestrian travel to/from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and the flyover at the intersection of Grange Ave. in the City of San Rafael.

This project will also be realigning the East Francisco Blvd. roadway, will move an existing overhead utility line below ground and add additional signage and striping.

Staff Contact

James Go, Associate Project Engineer
Phone: (415) 778-5286
Email: jgo@bayareametro.gov


BATA worked in partnership with the California Department of Transportation, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Transportation Authority of Marin to complete both the peak-period third lane on eastbound Interstate 580 and the bicycle/pedestrian path.

To save money and speed completion, BATA and its partners performed the required permitting and environmental work for both projects simultaneously.

Read the August 2016 Project Approval document.