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AB-9 Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. (2015-2016)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 1st Ext.

Assembly Bill
No. 9


Introduced by Assembly Member Levine
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Baker, Bonilla, Bonta, Thurmond, and Wood)
(Coauthors: Senators Allen and McGuire)

August 17, 2015


An act to add Section 30910.8 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 9, as introduced, Levine. Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
Existing law specifies the powers and duties of the Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the Bay Area Toll Authority with respect to the collection and expenditure of toll revenue from the 7 state-owned toll bridges within the geographic jurisdiction of the commission, including the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
This bill would require the department, immediately, or as soon as practically feasible, but no later than September 30, 2015, to implement an operational improvement project that temporarily restores the third eastbound lane on State Highway Route 580 from the beginning of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the County of Marin to Marine Street in the County of Contra Costa to automobile traffic and that temporarily converts a specified portion of an existing one-way bicycle lane along the north side of State Highway Route 580 in the County of Contra Costa into a bidirectional bicycle and pedestrian lane. The bill would require the department to keep the temporary lanes in place until the department has completed a specified project relating to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge or until construction activity for that project necessitates removal of the temporary lanes.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge opened on September 1, 1956. At the time of construction, the bridge was one of the longest bridges in the world and was constructed at a cost of $62 million.
(b) The initial construction, with the help of additional funding provided by the state (Chapter 159 of the Statutes of 1955), provided for the construction of six 12-foot-wide lanes. The six lanes were initially comprised of three lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions.
(c) In 1977, the then little-used third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was closed to allow for a pipeline to transport eight million gallons of water a day from the East Bay Municipal Utility District to drought-stricken Marin County. In 1978, the pipeline was removed and the third lane was restriped as an emergency shoulder.
(d) In 1989, following the Loma Prieta earthquake and the closure of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from October 17 to November 18, inclusive, the third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was opened in both the eastbound and westbound directions to help ease traffic flow across the bay.
(e) The possibility of permanently reopening the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to bicycle and pedestrian access has been debated for more than three decades since the 1977 closure of the third lane. In 2001, plans for bicycle access were rejected by the Department of Transportation for safety reasons. Alternative plans to open the bridge to bicycle and pedestrian access that address safety are currently under development.
(f) The total estimated cost of permanently reopening the third lane in the eastbound direction on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, reconfiguring the bike path on the east side of the bridge, and constructing a bike path on the westbound level of the bridge is $65 million.
(g) In the interest of improving traffic flow, maximizing existing resources, and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from the traffic backup on the eastbound bridge approach that impacts traffic on Highway 101, it is necessary that the third lane of the bridge be reopened to traffic at the earliest possible date.

SEC. 2.

 Section 30910.8 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, to read:

30910.8.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the department shall immediately, or as soon as practically feasible, but no later than September 30, 2015, implement an operational improvement project that does the following:
(1) Temporarily restores the third eastbound lane on State Highway Route 580 that existed prior to 1977 and that was temporarily restored immediately following the Loma Prieta earthquake, from the beginning of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the County of Marin to Marine Street in the County of Contra Costa to automobile traffic.
(2) Temporarily converts the existing one-way bicycle lane along the north side of westbound State Highway Route 580 from the Marine Street interchange to Stenmark Drive and the toll plaza in the County of Contra Costa into a bidirectional bicycle and pedestrian lane.
(b) The department shall keep the temporary third automobile lane and the temporary bidirectional bicycle lane in place until the department has completed the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvement Project (RTP ID 240758) or until construction activity for that project necessitates removal of the temporary lanes.
(c) (1) For the duration of the operation of the temporary third automobile lane, the department shall determine, according to a competent engineering analysis, the maximum speed that can be maintained with safety in the eastbound direction and shall post that maximum speed at appropriate locations. If the department determines that the maximum speed is less than the currently posted maximum speed, then the department shall, at the time that the temporary third automobile lane is restored, have in place appropriate devices to alert drivers to the lower speed, which may include, but are not limited to, raised pavement markings, flashing lights, temporary electronic message signs, and any other means that the department deems necessary.
(2) For the duration of the operation of the temporary bidirectional bicycle lane, the department shall install appropriate signage indicating that the lane is bidirectional. The department may place a temporary barrier between the temporary bidirectional bicycle lane and the automobile lanes.
(d) Concurrent with the implementation and operation of the temporary third automobile lane and the temporary bidirectional bicycle lane, the department and the Bay Area Toll Authority shall continue, without delay, current efforts to develop and deliver the permanent Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Access Improvement Project (RTP ID 240758).

SEC. 3.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to temporarily restore the third eastbound automobile lane of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to automobile traffic at the earliest possible date, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.