Senator McGuire partners with Assemblymember Levine to expedite construction of 3rd lane on Richmond-San Rafael bridge

AB 157 unanimously passes on Senate floor

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire led the charge on the Senate floor today to help speed up relief related to one of the worst commutes in the Bay Area. The bottleneck occurs on Highway 101 and Interstate 580 East, leading up to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

“This is one of the worst bottlenecks in the Bay Area and we need to expedite this common sense solution. We owe it to Marin commuters to have three lanes all the way on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge,” Senator McGuire said.

The bridge was originally constructed with three lanes of traffic in each direction in 1956, but back in the last great drought, the third lane was closed and a large water pipeline was constructed in its place in 1977. Even though the massive pipeline was removed just one year later – in 1978 – the third lane was never put back into service.

Reestablishing the third lane will not involve major bridge construction. However, time estimates for completion of this project are as long as three years. AB 157, introduced earlier this year by Assemblymember Marc Levine, will help speed up that process by as much as 18 months by allowing design work to be done concurrently with the environmental review.

“This is a unique issue because the bridge was designed and built with a third lane – Assembly Bill 157 speeds up the review and approval process to get this important project moving. I’m grateful for Assemblymember Levine’s hard work and excited to be working with him on this important issue,” Senator McGuire said.

Senator McGuire presented AB 157 to his colleagues in the Senate Monday afternoon before the bill passed 39-0. It will now head back to the Assembly for concurrence before going to the Governor’s desk to be signed.

This bill is supported by the City of San Rafael which is at the west end of the bridge where the traffic jams occur. It is also supported by the County of Marin, the State Building & Construction Trades Council, Bay Area Council, and AFSCME.

State Senator Mike McGuire represents the North Bay, including all of Marin County.