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Repairs completed on crumbling Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

By August 21, 2019 No Comments
The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge has undergone a series of joint repairs after concrete fell onto the lower deck in February. (Photo by Darin Marshall/Wikipedia)

Caltrans has completed joint replacement work on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge, more than six months after chunks of the aging structure fell into traffic.

The agency began repairs to the bridge after a large concrete chunk hit a car on the lower deck of the bridge the morning of Feb. 7 and more concrete fell in the afternoon. No one was injured, but the bridge was closed for much of the day.

Caltrans crews replaced the upper deck expansion joint responsible for the falling concrete, then started work on replacing the remaining joints on the upper deck.

“Safety is Caltrans’ top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to replace the remaining sliding plate joints on the bridge, starting with those on the upper deck,” said Caltrans District 4 Director Tony Tavares.

Each of the 31 joints that date back to the 1950s has been replaced by a new concrete joint with a rubberized seal designed to shrink and expand with changing temperatures, according to Caltrans officials.

The new joints should prevent cracking of the surrounding concrete road deck.

Next year, Caltrans will replace 30 joints on the lower deck of the bridge in conjunction with a bridge painting contract.

In the coming weeks, the agency will be straightening a portion of the bridge’s steel truss, which was impacted by a large truck.

Truss repair will require nightly lane closures in both directions, according to the agency.

The bridge has served Bay Area residents for the past 63 years.