The California Transportation Foundation has named the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Eastbound Third Lane Pilot Project as the Freeway/Expressway Project of the Year for 2018, work which has brought relief to commuters.
The third eastbound lane, which typically is operational daily from 2 to 7 p.m., opened in April 2018 and delivered immediate relief for the chronic afternoon and evening congestion that previously plagued eastbound Interstate 580 between San Rafael and Richmond, as well as the eastbound Sir Francis Drake Boulevard approach to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
The $53 million project was funded by the Bay Area Toll Authority and developed through a partnership between BATA, Caltrans, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Transportation Authority of Marin.
A series of electronic signs indicate to motorists when the third lane is open to eastbound traffic. These include both a large changeable message board on the Marin County approach to the span and 20 smaller signs installed over each traffic lane on the bridge. The smaller signs display green arrows to indicate open lanes or a red X to indicate a closed lane.
Foundation officials presented the award to project team members at a lunchtime ceremony in Sacramento on Tuesday. Other winners at the 30th annual awards presentation include former MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger, who was named the foundation's Person of the Year for 2018. Heminger retired from the agency earlier this year after 17 years of service in the commission's top staff position.
A special award was presented to the maintenance divisions in several Caltrans districts — including District 4, which covers the nine-county Bay Area — for emergency response and roadway repair efforts following devastating wildfires across California last year.