Sign testing on Richmond-San Rafael bridge may confuse drivers

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There are some potential traffic altering changes coming to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, but Tuesday that change starts with a test that some are worried will confuse drivers. (KGO-TV)

There are some potential traffic altering changes coming to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, but Tuesday that change starts with a test that some are worried will confuse drivers.

With the hope of easing congestion, the eastbound side of the Richmond-San Rafael bridge will soon expand from two lanes to three by utilizing the shoulder on the right side of the road.

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"The lane is designed for use during peak periods only," said John Godwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Godwin says 20 banks of signs, installed throughout the bridge, will let drivers know if the third lane is open. "Each bank has three signs, one over each of the lanes -- when illuminated indicate which lanes are available for use."

Beginning Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., Caltrans will be testing the signs for the next several weeks even though the third lane won't be open for use until late April.

Drivers we spoke to are also skeptical that the extra peak-hour-use lane will improve their commute.

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"It sounds like it might be a little confusing," says Karin Chandler who lives in Marin County.

Bridge commuter, Melissa Hoffman added, "I would want to know, what does that mean, where do I need to go?"

"I wish that I thought it was going to make a big difference, but honestly at this point I don't. The traffic is so overwhelming," said Sara Godwin of Fairfax.

The CHP says they will be monitoring the bridge during sign testing.

Click here for more updates on Bay Area traffic.
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