RICHMOND, Calif. (KRON) — It could take days and perhaps weeks to repair the damage to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, according to officials. Caltrans officials say the fatal big rig accident at the toll plaza this past Monday destroyed one lane and impacted two others.
Only four of the seven lanes are currently open, resulting in snarled traffic at times.
The fiery accident Monday night torched the far-right lane, known as lane 7, and seriously impacted the integrity of lanes 5 and 6, according to Caltrans. The CHP is investigating the cause of the crash that killed the big rig driver.
Westbound traffic was shut down for hours that night. Now, days later, repairs are still underway with no timeframe for when the three damaged lanes will reopen.
“Forty thousand drivers pass through the area. It is a priority to get it done,” said Vince Jacala, a Caltrans spokesperson.
Jacala said a large team continues to assess what it will take to safely rebuild the lanes.
“We need to get the items and that might take some time,” he explained.
“The toll plaza items were burned up,” said John Goodwin, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the state agency that manages the toll plaza at the bridge.
He says the agency is in a similar position to Caltrans looking for parts to replace the burned items. The toll plaza is scheduled to be eliminated with a new overhead gantry. That project isn’t due to begin until 2024, according to Goodwin.
Another planning meeting to evaluate fixing the toll plaza will happen next Monday. A more accurate timeline on when the bridge could reopen may emerge then.