Officials plan for Richmond-San Rafael Bridge replacement, seek ideas from public

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge has been a source of major issues for thousands of drivers, including lane closures. Now a North Bay Assemblymember is preparing to eventually replace the bridge with a new span.

Assemblyman Marc Levine is asking for public input on what the new bridge should include, "Nothing lasts forever, including workhorse bridges like the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge," said Assemblymember Levine. "Now is the time for our community to begin a conversation about what type of bridge will meet our long term needs." Assemblymember Levine is accepting ideas on all aspects of the new bridge including the look, if it should include bike or pedestrian lanes and even if it should incorporate trains.

To collect the ideas, Assemblymember Levine has launched a new website where the public can submit ideas. He is also asking people to post their suggestions on social media using the hashtag #RichmondBridge.

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The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is 63 years old. Recently, it has been plagued with problems including at least two instances where concrete from expansion joints fell onto the lower deck of the bridge.

Officials have also struggled to keep up with growing demand. Earlier this year they converted the shoulder on the lower deck into a third lane that is used during commute hours. They also added a moveable barrier to the top deck to give bicycles and pedestrians access between Marin County and Richmond for the first time.

RELATED: New lane added on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

The bridge will get a $20 million makeover beginning in 2020, thanks to state gas tax funds. It is unclear when a project to build a new bridge would begin.
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