Bay Area

Falling concrete shuts down Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

RICHMOND (KRON) - Lanes on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge are now open after large pieces of concrete fell from the upper deck on to the lower deck, prompting a lengthy bridge closure today.

Both directions were closed for hours Thursday night, thought CHP Marin confirmed the westbound lanes reopened around 7:30 p.m. The agency says crews are still working to reopen the 'last bit' of eastbound lanes. 

According to CHP Marin, a call came in around 11 a.m. to report that a chunk of concrete had fallen on a vehicle. The caller said her vehicle sustained damage, but she couldn't stop because she was rushing to the airport. 

When crews arrived they noticed that chunks of concrete—some equivalent to the size of a football—had broken apart from the upper deck and onto the lower deck near the toll plaza. 

CHP reassures that this is an isolated incident and is not a widespread issue.

Drivers are being ushered off the bridge, so CalTrans engineers can inspect the damage and determine the cause. 

Initially, CalTrans estimated that the bridge would reopen at 6 p.m. By 2:47 p.m. one lane in each direction on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge reopened. 

However, the bridge was shut down again after reports of more concrete chunks falling. KRON4's Justine Waldman says officials are trying to determine if the concrete started to come down after CalTrans crews started repair work on the upper deck to fix the earlier problem, or if it was from the traffic along the bridge.  

The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, like most bridges, is made of concrete and steel. KRON4's Chuck Clifford says over time it had a couple of updates due to the wear and tear with the heavy traffic and constant vibrations. 

Chuck says CalTrans will have to determine whether to keep the entire bridge closed or,  best case scenario, close a few lanes while they fix the damage.

>> Check out live traffic maps in the KRON4 Traffic Center

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

 

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