Public Invited to Learn More as Construction Begins On Richmond-San Rafael Corridor Projects | News

News Release

Public Invited to Learn More as Construction Begins On Richmond-San Rafael Corridor Projects

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
John Goodwin, 415-778-5262

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Caltrans, the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) invite the public to a pair of open houses in Richmond on Thursday, Dec. 8 and in San Rafael on Friday, Dec. 9 to learn more about the Interstate 580 Access Improvement Projects now beginning construction in the heavily traveled Richmond-San Rafael Bridge corridor.

To reduce congestion on eastbound Interstate 580, MTC and its partners are working to convert the right shoulder to a third freeway lane from the Sir Francis Drake Blvd. on-ramp in Marin County to the Richmond Parkway/Point Richmond exit in Contra Costa County. Project elements include reconfiguring the Main Street on-ramp from San Quentin Village with a retaining wall to improve the traffic merge with the new lane; replacing pavement on the bridge approaches to accommodate heavier traffic loads; and relocating a retaining wall in Richmond to achieve safe sight distances for vehicles traveling in the new right lane.  The third eastbound traffic lane is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.

To provide a bicycle/pedestrian link between Marin and Contra Costa counties, the agencies will establish a path on the north side of Interstate 580, with concrete barriers to separate bikes and pedestrians from westbound freeway traffic. These include a moveable barrier on the upper deck of the bridge that will allow Caltrans to conduct maintenance work during short closures of the path. Construction work on the moveable barrier project is expected to begin in the spring of 2017, with completion slated for the spring of 2018.

Lane and ramp closures necessary for construction activity will take place mostly in late night and early morning hours, but some closures may extend until 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Public Open Houses

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Richmond City Hall,  450 Civic Center Plaza

San Rafael City Hall, 1400 Fifth Avenue

Each Open House will be an informational meeting at which members of the public can review project plans, talk with project team members and provide input.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven Bay Area toll bridges. TAM is the congestion management agency and the transportation sales tax authority for Marin County. CCTA is the congestion management agency and the transportation sales tax authority for Contra Costa County.

Local stakeholders are concerned that the high occupancy vehicle plan for access to the trail sections is not adequate. A Bus Rapid Transit stop is proposed near the toll plaza , with a PARK-and-RIDE below the bridge to the West of the Toll Plaza for public access to the new trail sections. It is also critical that Caltrans fix the left entrance design flaw in the freeway egress from San Pablo Peninsula East to Richmond (to which traffic will be added from the new park-and-ride and Point Molate) as part of the planned work, as this freeway entrance curently brings traffic up hill onto the fast lane of the freeway at the pinch point (the wall), which traffic must cross two lanes to get to the right exit in a place that is sight-distance impaired. THIS is the problem that is backing up traffic into Marin, which is NOT being solved by the lane addition plans. The freeway improvements are thus fatally flawed as currently configured). Adding another lane will only exacerbate the problem. Instead, the traffic from San Pablo Point should cross under the Eastbound 580 lanes as well, and combine with the traffic exiting Eastbound 580 before entering a tunnel on the South side of the wall. The Point Molate/Park-and-ride traffic should only enter the Eastbound freeway lanes AFTER Castro Street, where the visibility is not restricted. There should be TWO LANES from the park-and-ride and Point Molate to accommodate the crowds that can be expected as a result of the public activities planned for Point Molate. Conceptual design drawings area available on request. A new freeway exit from the bridge to the park-and ride is also suggested. This could be paid for by transit-oriented development (offices and hotel) over the park-and-ride. The new exit would allow emergency road service vehicles, etc., to exit with the park-and ride and Point Molate/trail traffic, so that parking could be eliminated to the South of the Toll Plaza (making room for the HOV access). Future plans should include an elevated ultra-light rail system that would tie into BART (which is already proposed), and which could also serve the San Pablo employment corridor.

Submit your comment

In order to receive a reply to your comment, please provide an email address.