Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Seismic Retrofit

Transportation | Richmond, California

In 2001 an extensive seismic retrofit program was conducted for the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Channel Lumber partnered with engineers and contractors throughout construction. 
Originally built in 1956, the bridge was showing its age. There were reports of concrete falling from joints in the upper deck and damaging vehicles. 
The seismic retrofit would make the bridge able to withstand a magnitude 7.4 earthquake on the Hayward Fault, and an 8.3 on the San Andreas Fault
The origins of the bridge date back to the 1920s when ferry service connected Richmond and San Rafael. Several competing plans were put in place to build the bridge, and eventually the two top competitors for the project partnered, and built the bridge that stands today. 
The bridge remained open during construction. Most of the construction was done at night, with one lane open in each direction, allowing for the closure of either the upper or lower deck. 
The fabricating work for the retrofit was done off site, and delivered via barge. The retrofit was the most complex project of its type by CalTrans. Still, the four year project came in $136 million dollars under budget. 
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