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The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge's Troublesome New Lane

SAN RAFAEL (KPIX 5) -- The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is notoriously one of the worst commutes in the Bay Area.

Now, a plan to add a third lane has hit a snag and the planned opening is in jeopardy.

Richmond-San Rafael drivers have come to expect a rush hour delay, but the unexpected could keep them waiting even longer for relief.

Driver Tom Yasuda said, "It sucks because it's been like this for a long time. We thought it was going to be done in a year. Now, it's been like two or three years that have gone by."

The third lane fix has hit its own roadblock. The snafu is a retaining wall on the east side of the bridge that needs to be backed up about 15 feet for driver visibility in that soon-to-be third lane.

Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin says, "It was known all along that this was going to be a real challenge, but the fact of the matter is that it has taken longer than the original expectation."

Officially, the opening of the third lane is still the end of November 2017, but as time goes on, Goodwin says, it seems increasingly likely that timeline will slip back several weeks or more - much to the chagrin of both drivers and MTC.

It all depends on construction.


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