OAKLAND, Calif.--()--Motorists may experience delays at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza during each of the next two weekends — and during weekday peak periods from Feb. 19 through March 5 — as Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) make temporary lane changes in order to install a new automated toll collection and accounting system.
Beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday evening, Feb. 8, the far left lane of the westbound Interstate 580 approach to the toll plaza will be closed to accommodate system upgrades in toll lane #1 and toll lane #2 at the left side of the toll plaza. The toll plaza is expected to resume normal operations by 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 11. The following weekend, all three lanes on the approach to the toll plaza will remain open, but toll lane #3 will be closed from 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15 until 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 18.
Weekday toll lane closures will involve a single lane at a time and extend for no more than two days each. The first of these closures will involve toll lane #4, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19 and conclude before the morning commute on Thursday, Feb. 21. Toll lane #5 is slated for closure on Monday, Feb. 25 and Tuesday, Feb. 26, with toll lane #6 closed on Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Thursday, Feb. 28. Toll lane #7 at the far right side of the plaza is scheduled for closure on Monday, March 4 and Tuesday, March 5. Work schedules are subject to delay in the event of inclement weather. The weekday closures may increase peak period delays by as much as 10 to 15 minutes. Weekend lane closures are expected to create smaller delays, if any.
Following completion of the equipment installation at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza, contractors working for BATA, in conjunction with Caltrans staff, will be performing similar work through much of 2013 at the toll plazas of four other state-owned toll bridges, beginning with the Carquinez Bridge and continuing with the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, the Dumbarton Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge later in the year. Each of these projects likely will take at least four or five weeks to complete. Workers completed the installation of the new toll collection equipment at the Benicia-Martinez Bridge toll plaza in August 2012 and at the Antioch Bridge toll plaza in December 2012.
BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the region's state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven Bay Area toll bridges.