Expect Delays: Major repairs on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge begin

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Construction crews are beginning more demolition on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

Monday night, Caltrans crews are working to take apart the second sliding plate joint on the bridge. Caltrans has a total of 62 joints to replace on the upper and lower decks. Caltrans spokesman, Bob Haus, says the upper deck portion of the project will be complete in 12 weeks-- which is estimated to cost about $8-million. The lower deck repairs will start next year and have a separate budget.

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The project was prompted when crumbling concrete, that came down in chunks the size of footballs, hit a car driving on the bridge in February. The incident caused a nine-hour shutdown of the bridge in the middle of a busy Thursday, which created a traffic mess throughout the Bay Area during the evening commute.

Caltrans says it's possible an overweight truck caused the damage.

Instead of repairing just the one crumbling joint, Caltrans made the decision to replace all the joints on the bridge since at 63-years-old, they are aging.

RELATED: Bridge closure causes traffic nightmare for drivers in the Bay Area

The work will take place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. over the next 12 weeks. Drivers can expect some delays at night and in the early morning hours.

Caltrans maintains that this bridge is safe even in the event of a major earthquake.

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