Bay Area Council calls for Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll booths to be removed after fatal crash

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Bay Area Council calls for Richmond Bridge toll booths to be removed
The Bay Area Council says it is working on a report determining how many upgrades are needed to Richmond-San Rafael Bridge following deadly crash.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area Council says they are working on a report determining how many upgrades are needed to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

On Monday night, a big rig crashed into the toll plaza causing significant damage. The driver of the big rig died. Three lanes at the toll plaza are closed indefinitely.

"These three lanes that are closed, will be closed for several days or even weeks," said Pedro Quintana with Caltrans.

RELATED: Driver killed after big rig crashes into Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll booth, CHP says

A semi driver was killed after crashing into a toll booth on the westbound lanes of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge near Richmond, the CHP said.

The Bay Area Council says there are numerous problems with the bridge including its toll plaza, which officials there say have been in place since the 1950s.

"We all know we need to get rid of these toll booths, why the heck does it take so long?" said John Grubb, the COO of the Bay Area Council. "The impact can be really catastrophic and tragic, where someone is dying, crashing into toll booths."

Drivers are forced to slow down to 25 miles per hour when going through the tolls, but no one collects money anymore. Grubb says these booths still cause backups, which during the morning commute, creates more pollution.

"It is now the largest source of pm2.5 emissions," Grubb said. "These are really harmful chemicals that get into the lungs of people, is from the morning back up."

RELATED: 3 lanes closed indefinitely on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, toll plaza damaged after crash: Caltrans

Caltrans says the three right westbound lanes of the toll plaza at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge will be shut down indefinitely.

Grubb says necessary projects often get delayed or held up. He says there is a plan in place to remove the booths at the bridge by 2028. However, he says after Monday's crash, they need to get removed now.

"We need to be able to be to do things a lot more quickly, and we need to do things more holistically," Grubb said.

A GoFundMe account has been created for the driver killed in the crash. To make a donation, visit here.

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