AB 157, as introduced, Levine. Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
Existing law specifies the powers and duties of the Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the Bay Area Toll Authority with respect to the collection and expenditure of toll revenue from the 7 state-owned toll bridges within the geographic jurisdiction of the commission, including the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
This bill, if the commission and the department develop a project to open the third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to automobile traffic on the eastbound level and to bicycle traffic on the westbound level, would require the lead agency to complete the design work for the project simultaneously with the environmental review conducted pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2⁄3. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the
3(a) The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge opened on September 1,
41956. At the time of construction, the bridge was one of the longest
5bridges in the world and was constructed at a cost of $62 million.
6(b) The initial construction, with the help of additional funding
7provided by the state (Chapter 159 of the Statutes of 1955),
8provided for the construction of six 12-foot wide lanes. The six
9lanes were initially comprised of three lanes in both the eastbound
10and westbound directions.
11(c) In 1977, the little-used third lane on the Richmond-San
12Rafael Bridge was closed to allow for a pipeline to transport eight
13million gallons of water a day from the East Bay Municipal Utility
14District to drought stricken Marin County. In 1978, the pipeline
15was removed and the third lane was restriped as an emergency
17(d) In 1989, following the Loma Prieta earthquake and the
18closure of the San Francisco Bay Bridge from October 17 to
19November 18, inclusive, the third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael
20Bridge was opened in both the eastbound and westbound directions
21to help ease traffic flow across the bay.
22(e) The possibility of opening the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge
23to bicycle and pedestrian access has been debated for over three
24decades since the 1977 closure of the third lane. In 2001, plans for
25bicycle access were rejected by the Department of Transportation
26for safety reasons. Alternative plans to open the bridge to bicycle
27and pedestrian access that address safety are currently under
29(f) The total estimated cost of reestablishing the third lane of
30traffic in the eastbound direction on the Richmond-San Rafael
31Bridge, reconfiguring the bike path on the east side of the bridge,
32and constructing a bike path on the westbound level of the bridge
33is $65 million.
34(g) In the interest of improving traffic flow, maximizing existing
35resources, and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from
36the traffic backup on the eastbound bridge approach that impacts
37traffic on Highway 101, it is necessary that the third lane of the
38bridge be opened to traffic at the earliest possible date.
Section 30910.7 is added to the Streets and Highways
2Code, to read:
If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and
4the department develop a project to open the third lane on the
5Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to automobile traffic on the
6eastbound level and to bicycle traffic on the westbound level, the
7lead agency shall, to the extent feasible, complete the design work
8for the project simultaneously with the environmental review
9conducted pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act
10(Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public
This act is an urgency statute necessary for the
13immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within
14the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into
15immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
16In order to open the third lane of the Richmond-San Rafael
17Bridge to traffic at the earliest possible date, it is necessary for this
18act to take effect immediately.