RICHMOND (CBS SF) – Motorists crossing the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge were being told to brace for months of delays because of lane changes to accommodate work for replacing the westbound bridge decks, a Caltrans spokesman said.

On Sunday a quarter-mile stretch of westbound Interstate 580 just east of the toll plaza on the Richmond side was shut down and would remain that way for as long as three months, spokesman Allyn Amsk said.

Two westbound lanes will be shifted onto the eastbound side of the roadway, and placed adjacent to two eastbound lanes starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Amsk said because of reduced lane width, with four lanes clumped onto one side of the roadway, there will be no shoulder.

If any accidents or stalls occur there could be major back-ups in both directions, he said.

Once westbound motorists pass the toll plaza, traffic will shift back to the westbound side of the bridge.

The speed limit in the area where crews are replacing the westbound bridge deck will be reduced to 45 mph, Amsk said.

In additional the lane shift, the eastbound I-580 Western Drive on-ramp in Richmond will be closed for up to three months starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

A detour will be in place on an existing bicycle road that runs underneath the highway.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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