Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority today issued the eleventh in a weekly series of updates on the work underway to replace 31 joints on the westbound upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Another 30 joints on the lower deck of the bridge will be replaced next year.
Construction crews have now replaced 29 of the 31 upper deck joints. Work is underway this week at the last two locations, and replacement of these final two joints is expected to be complete by this weekend, with the entire upper deck project on track for full completion by the end of July.
Each of the original 1950-era joints is being replaced by a new joint that features a rubberized seal designed to shrink and expand with changing temperatures. This will prevent cracking of the surrounding concrete road deck.
To minimize impacts to commute traffic, joint replacement work is being done at night. Drivers can expect one lane of traffic to be closed most nights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. New steel plates have been installed at work locations. Drivers can pass over these plates at posted speeds. There is no need to slow down for these plates. Berkeley photographer Karl Nielsen last month joined the work crews to capture their nightly race to get the necessary work done in time to accommodate morning commute traffic.