Skip to main content

November Bay Area Part 4; Richmond-San Rafael Bridge/I-580

Given that I was heading to the Marin Headlands from Mount Diablo I didn't think it would be a good idea to try to slog through downtown San Francisco and have to pay two bridge tolls.  That being the case after finishing a route clinch of CA 24 I jumped on I-580 and headed to the northern end of San Francisco Bay to cross via the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.


The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is a double deck truss bridge spanning 5.5 miles with a maximum clearance of 185 feet.  The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge connects Richmond in Contra Costa County and San Rafael in Marin County.  Construction on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge started in 1953 and was completed by 1956. The 1956 and 1957 state highway maps reflect the completion of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge on the northern end of San Francisco Bay.

1956 State Highway Map

1957 State Highway Map

Prior to 1959 the route leading to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was part of unsigned Legislative Route Number 69 between US 101 and US 40.  It wasn't until 1959 that California State Route 17 was extended over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to meet US 101.  The change from an unsigned highway to CA 17 can be seen on the 1958 and 1959 State Highway Map City inserts.

1958 State Highway Map Insert

1959 State Highway Map Insert

By 1984 I-580 had been extended over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge replacing CA 17.  The I-580 designation was one of many of what I consider to be questionable Interstate Designations in the Bay Area which replaced previous state highways with preexisting route continuity.

Currently the toll for crossing the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is $5 dollars for two axle vehicles.  After the tollbooths the official name for the structure the "John F McCarthy Memorial Bridge" can be observed.


The double decker structure of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is pretty striking.  It appears that the shoulder in theory could be utilized in the future for an additional lane if the need ever arose.  The  bridge is obviously exempt from Interstate Standards given there is not a shoulder on both sides of the roadway.






There is a decent overlook of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in Marin County at San Quentin Point.  Interesting to consider that one of the most infamous California State Prisons is literally within walking distance of the overlook.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hidden California State Route 710 and the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway

Infamous and the subject of much controversy the Pasadena Gap in the Long Beach Freeway has long existed as a contentious topic regarding the completion of Interstate 710 and California State Route 710.  While the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway effectively has been legislatively blocked the action only came after decades of controversy.  While the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freeway is fairly well known what many don't know is that a small segment was actually constructed south Interstate 210 and the Foothill Freeway.  This disconnected segment of the Long Beach Freeway exists as the unsigned and largely hidden California State Route 710.  On June 29, 2022 the California Transportation Commission relinquished California State Route 710 to the city of Pasadena.  The blog cover above depicts a southward view on the completed Pasadena stub segment of the Long Beach Freeway which ends at California Boulevard.   Part 1; the history of the Pasadena Gap of the Long Beach Freewa

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Paper Highways: Proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada

During February 1956 the State of Nevada in concurrence with the States of California and Arizona submitted a request to the American Association of State Highway Officials to establish US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas.  The proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have originated from mainline US Route 66 in Kingman Arizona and followed a multiplex of US Routes 93-466 to Las Vegas, Nevada.  From Las Vegas, Nevada the proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have multiplexed US Routes 91-466 back to mainline US Route 66 in Barstow, California.  The request to establish US Route 66 Alternate was denied during June 1956 due to it being completely multiplexed with other US Routes.  This blog will examine the timeline of the US Route 66 Alternate proposal to Las Vegas, Nevada. The history of the proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada On February 15, 1956, the Nevada State Highway Engineer in a letter to the American Association of State Highways Officials (AASHO) advising that six c