On November 16, 2019, the bicycle and pedestrian path across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge will open, enabling cyclists and pedestrians to take in breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay while traveling between Marin and Contra Costa counties.
With the opening of the new path, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is now part of the San Francisco Bay Trail. The roughly six-mile bicycle and pedestrian path for the first time connects the Bay Trail between Contra Costa and Marin counties, adding another link to the future 500-mile bicycle and hiking network benefits for residents in both counties.
The path runs along the north side of Interstate 580 from Castro Street in Richmond across the upper deck of the bridge to East Francisco Blvd. in San Rafael. Cyclists and pedestrians on the 10-foot wide, bi-directional path on the bridge’s upper deck will be separated from traffic by a movable concreate barrier system, similar to the one installed on the Golden Gate Bridge in 2015.
The estimated $20 million path project was developed in tandem with conversion of the right shoulder on eastbound I-580 to a third traffic lane for peak-period use from Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in San Rafael to the Richmond Parkway/Point Richmond exit in Richmond. BATA partnered with Caltrans, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Transportation Authority of Marin on both of these projects.
The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Two access points provide a direct route to the bicycle and pedestrian path: one at the Vista Point at the end of East Francisco Boulevard/San Quentin off-ramp from westbound Interstate 580 in San Rafael, and a second at Castro Street and Tewksbury Avenue in Point Richmond. See November 2019 I-580 Improvement Project Map in the Related Documents on this page for more detail.
The bicycle/pedestrian path between Contra Costa and Marin counties features a permanent concrete barrier to separate bicyclists and pedestrians from Interstate 580 traffic from Castro Street in Richmond out to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
On the bridge itself, the pathway is separated from freeway traffic by a moveable concrete barrier that will allow BATA and Caltrans to perform bridge maintenance duties during short-duration closures of the path. These closures typically will occur at night.
The third traffic lane for eastbound Interstate 580 is open to motorists daily, typically from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
To accommodate the additional traffic, construction crews:
- Reconfigured and rebuilt the Main Street on-ramp from San Quentin Village to improve the traffic merge with the new third lane
- Replaced pavement on approaches to and from the bridge to accommodate traffic loads
- Relocated and reconstructed a retaining wall in Richmond to provide safe sight distances for eastbound motorists traveling in the new third lane