Caltrans starts repairs on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, closes one lane in both directions

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Caltrans crews closed one lane in both directions on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The closure is to make more repairs on the bridge after concrete fell from the upper deck to the lower deck.

As a tow truck driver, Sean Dinsmore sometimes finds himself going over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge multiple times a day, so when concrete came falling down on Thursday, he was in the thick of it.

"Yesterday created quite a bit a chaos especially on this side of the bay too," Dinsmore said.

Caltrans isn't planning to shut down the whole bridge again, but from 9 p.m. Friday night until 7 a.m. on Saturday one lane of traffic will be closed in both directions. Crews are replacing the metal plate currently welded over the damaged area, with a larger metal plate.

"I appreciate the fact that they're doing it at night," Dinsmore said. "Because shutting it down in the middle of the day like that makes my job hard, makes your job harder, and makes everyone's job a little bit harder than it should be."

The overnight repair is specifically targeting the bridge's expansion joint.

Caltrans confirmed on Friday what the ABC7 News I-Team reported on Thursday, that an expansion joint caused the problem. It was worn down from heavy traffic.

"When I was driving back home yesterday, I was pretty cautious," Johnny Phothisa, a Richmond resident said. "I was looking around in case something else did happen."

Caltrans insists the bridge is safe.

"People's safety comes first," Phothisa said.

The repairs could impact Saturday travel, but the commuters ABC7 News talked to don't seem to mind, as long as a multi-hour back up doesn't happen again.

Permanent repairs to the bridge will start on Monday.

See more stories about the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge closure.
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