San Rafael assembly member wants to speed up repairs on Richmond Bridge

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ByAlan Wang KGO logo
Thursday, January 22, 2015
San Rafael assembly member wants to speed up repairs on Richmond Bridge
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The commute across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is brutal, so Assm. Marc Levine wants to help speed up the repairs in the third lane.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- That brutal commute across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge could get easier. Assm. Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, is trying to pass a bill that would speed up the restoration of a third eastbound lane.

This is Sir Francis Drake Blvd where you can hear drivers yelling at each other and honking their horns in frustration. That frustration can be felt all the way to Highway 101 and that's why there's an effort to put this project on a fast track.

If you ask anyone about the eastbound commute across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, during rush hour, you'll hear how horrible it is.

Commuter John Monagle told ABC7 News, "It's bad. It stops up and it slows the rest of the traffic down in Corte Madera as well."

That's why Levine has introduced urgency legislation to speed up restoration of a third lane on the bridge. Currently it's an emergency lane.

"It would relieve Highway 101 as well as Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, but I think also a lot of people's headaches and frustration," Levine said.

During rush hour, commuters are forced to take a long and slow drive down Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to get to the bridge. The backup also causes congestion on Highway 101 for drivers headed north.

"When I was living in Petaluma, it would add another 30 minutes to it if I'm coming from the San Francisco area through here. It's just backed up from the Golden Gate Bridge every day," commuter Danny McCarthy.

For locals, trying to get home from the store can be a pain.

"It might add another 20 minutes or so, when it should be like three minutes to get home," Monagle said.

"We need to get the third lane, the third lane for the Richmond Bridge, done soon," Levine said.

If the bill passes in the spring, Levine says the third eastbound lane could be finished as early as next year.