Construction may be delayed on extra Richmond-San Rafael Bridge lane

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- Construction to ease traffic on a major Bay Area bridge is hitting a roadblock again. The creation of a third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is hitting a wall.

It appears it might not happen until March, that's about four months later than expected. According to our media partner the Marin Independent Journal, pushing the retaining wall back 15 feet has been tougher than they expected.

The plan is to create a third eastbound lane that will be used during commute hours. Outside of the commute it will be used as a shoulder for Caltrans to use for maintenance work. Traffic on the bridge has increased 13 percent in the last five years and when it slows down, the backup stretches all the way to Highway 101 and Interstate 580 in Marin.

It's not just commuters who are anxious to see this open -- residents who see the traffic spill onto their neighborhood streets say they need relief. Transit officials say they will meet with the contractor to see about speeding up the construction, but that will likely cost more money, so they will have to decide if they want to spend it and where to find it. So a delay until March isn't official yet but right now a strong possibility.
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