Caltrans today will open a long-awaited third eastbound lane on Interstate 580 to accommodate peak period traffic from San Rafael to Richmond. The opening of the lane marks a major milestone in the multi-year, $53 million project undertaken by Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) affiliate, in partnership with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM), to convert the right shoulder to accommodate peak-period traffic from Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in San Rafael to a newly-expanded Richmond Parkway/Point Richmond exit in Richmond. The new lane typically will be open to traffic each day from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A series of newly-installed electronic signs will indicate to motorists when the new third lane is open to traffic. These include both a large changeable message board on the Marin County approach to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and 20 smaller signs installed over each traffic lane on the bridge. The smaller signs will display green arrows to indicate open lanes or a red X to indicate a closed lane.
The penalty for drivers who are in the new third lane when the red X is activated is $237 plus one point on the driver's record.
The opening of the new third lane will be preceded by a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring local, regional and state officials who galvanized the partnership that delivered the new peak-period traffic lane and is now working to complete the first-ever bicycle/pedestrian link between Contra Costa and Marin counties. A video and other information about the I-580 Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvement Projects can be found on the MTC Web site at mtc.ca.gov/our-work/plans-projects/major-regional-projects/richmond-san-rafael-bridge-access-improvements.
MTC is the regional transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. BATA, which administers revenue from the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges, is funding the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvement Projects with support from Caltrans to integrate these improvements into the state’s traffic management system.