SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) --There's good news for commuters traveling from the East Bay to Marin County. Caltrans has a design in place to create more room on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
It should bring relief to the congested bridge.
What do you think about adding a 3rd lane to the EB section of the San Rafael/Richmond bridge? https://t.co/4vbtyBvzyI— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) July 14, 2016
"We are on the way. We are gonna get to work on in mid-September," Caltrans spokesperson Bob Haus said.
Caltrans is ready to seek bids to create a third lane on the eastbound section of the bridge, hoping to make driving across the scenic span a pleasant experience again.
"It used to be one of the easiest commutes you could have. Now, depending on what time of day you come, it can be really, really hairy," Pittsburg resident Mike Mason said.
Traffic on the bridge is up 13 percent in the past five years. Even Larkspur residents who don't commute feel the pain.
The backup spills into residential streets and even over to Highway 101.
"It gets pretty bad. It can be 35 minutes through here, 40 minutes just by Larkspur Landing," Larkspur resident Frank Tulp said.
The lane is currently the shoulder, but it can't open right away. There's work they have to do to it.
"What we have to do is turn the existing shoulder into the lane, we have to widen that. Then we have to build a new shoulder, which means tearing down the existing retaining wall, moving that back several feet, building a new retaining wall," Haus said.
All that while having to make sure they protect the Bay while they work.
That's why you won't see this new third lane for about another year and a half.
They estimate opening by December 2017.