Commuter relief: New lane added on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- A big relief for North and East Bay commuters has arrived.

A long-awaited third Lane has been added in the eastbound direction of the Richmond-San Rafael bridge.

That right lane can be used during peak afternoon commute times between 2-7pm.

RELATED: Third lane of Richmond-San Rafael Bridge opens Friday

The $53 million dollar project funded by Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission paid for converting the shoulder and for new electronic freeway signs, telling drivers when it's OK to use the lane.

"It's a Day of celebration for commuters who endure that soul-crushing bumper to bumper traffic getting to the bridge," said San Rafael Assemblyman Marc Levine.

80,000 drivers use the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge every day.

Traffic snarls on connectors like Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and U.S. Highway 101 occur daily.

RELATED: Effort grows for third lane on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

Commuters hope it helps move traffic along.

"I have to leave work by 5 p.m. in Larkspur, otherwise I'm stuck on 101 for a long time," said commuter Jaclyn Guelfi.

If you're caught using the right lane outside of Peak commute times, it means a CHP fine of $237.

The second phase of the project could add a third lane in the westbound direction next year.

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