richmond san rafael bridge

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After Partial Crumble, Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Will Be Fixed Quickly: Officials

Scott Lettieri
February 18, 2019 - 11:06 am

Repairs are set to get underway Tuesday to fix a dangerous hole in the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge that caused the busy span's temporary closure. 

Traffic gridlock spread across the Bay Area on February 7 when the bridge was closed for nine hours due to an expansion joint that failed and sent concrete chunks tumbling onto the lower level. A car was struck by the debris. 

To complete the project, some lanes will be closed nightly in both directions from 9 p.m to 4 a.m. One lane will remain open in both directions to allow for a reduced flow of traffic. 

It's expected to take 10 days to introduce a permanent fix to the nearly seven-foot-wide hole that was initially covered with a metal plate. Crew plans to demolish and replace a section of the deck while rebuilding the joints that hold it in place, Caltrans officials said. 

"It's expected that work will take place from Tuesday night all the way to March 1, with the weather cooperating with us," said  Ken Brown, the Caltrans maintenance chief who is overseeing the repair.

Repairs were supposed to start last week, but they were delayed by the entrenched stormy weather. Caltrans is ready to put the fix in gear with the sun expected to shine for much of this week. 

"All the material and everything is now in hand with the contractor," said Brown. "Crews will start Tuesday night ... they'll be making some measurements, checking out things. On Wednesday night, they'll actually start the real physical work."

Written by Diana Shook