2 votes

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge


Richmond - San Rafael Bridge

From San Rafael Shore

Photo taken by Michael Goff on April 18, 2008


BH Photo #124636

Street Views 


Bridge connects Contra Costa County and Marin County


Double deck cantilever truss bridge over San Pablo Bay on I-580 in Richmond
Richmond, Contra Costa County, California
Open to traffic
Built 1956, Seismic Retrofit Completed 2005
- A. Soda & Son (Superstructure Joint Venture)
- Ben C. Gerwick Co. (Substructure Joint Venture)
- Judson Pacific-Murphy Corp of Emeryville, California (Superstructure Joint Venture)
- Peter Kiewit & Sons of Omaha, Nebraska (Superstructure & Substructure Joint Venture)
The Richmond/San Rafael Bridge is a double deck cantilever and continous truss bridge. The bridge spans twin shipping channels with two cantilever spans. The bridge also was designed with a "Sway Back" to save on steel costs.
Length of largest span: 1,087.0 ft.
Total length: 21,346.2 ft. (4.0 mi.)
Deck width: 72.2 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.0 ft.
Also called
San Pablo Bay Bridge
John F. McCarthy Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.93405, -122.42955   (decimal degrees)
37°56'03" N, 122°25'46" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/550129/4198651 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
San Quentin
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
Inventory numbers
CA 28-100 (California bridge number)
BH 10852 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of December 2016)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 60.9 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 7, 2019: Updated by Luke: Added builders
  • September 14, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • September 12, 2014: New Street View added by Luke
  • September 12, 2014: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • July 14, 2013: New photo from Brian Smith
  • April 3, 2011: New photos from Craig Philpott
  • March 6, 2011: New Street View added by J.P.
  • February 17, 2010: Updated by Craig Philpott: Corrected design description
  • November 30, 2009: New photo from Craig Philpott
  • September 15, 2008: Updated by Michael Goff


  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Craig Philpott - craigphilpott63 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Todd Wilson
  • Brian Smith - casigns28 [at] outlook [dot] com
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Luke


Richmond - San Rafael Bridge
Posted February 7, 2019, by Daniel

https://www.sfgate.com/traffic/article/580-richmond-san-rafa... closed due to deck spalling again

as far as seismic goes: Carquinez is significantly newer than the Bay Bridge. 1958 vs 1936. They also did a significant seismic retrofit on the 1958 bridge when they opened the 2003 bridge, before they demolished the 1927 bridge. A full, medium term closure isn't something they could do on the Bay Bridge, but at Carquinez they had the opportunity to do so.

Richmond - San Rafael Bridge
Posted October 15, 2015, by Annonymous

They've both had a seismic retrofit to withstand earthquakes. I don't see why they would be demolished or collapse anytime soon.

Richmond - San Rafael Bridge
Posted September 14, 2014, by Tom Hoffman

I wonder what the future holds for this bridge and the Carquinez Strait Bridge. The eastern Oakland Bay bridge was replaced saying because it was not earthquake safe. That deck collapse could have happened to the suspension bridges too. The cantaleiver truss bridges are just as great as the wire suspension bridges. I just dont fully understand what they think would happen in an earthquake. The two bridges I mentioned should be left alone except for needed repairs.