By Joe Vazquez

(KPIX 5) — Relief for drivers on one of the Bay Area’s worst commutes is in sight as there is finally a timeline for the opening for the opening of a third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The MTC says the bulk of the work on the bridge is done. That includes the cornerstone of the project – creating an extra right lane on the Contra Costa side of the bridge.

“This is a project that has been under construction for over a year and now we’re winding it down,” said MTC spokesman John Goodwin.

The toughest part of the project has been moving a large retaining wall to make some room for that extra lane.

The project began in the fall of 2016. Today, the retaining wall has been torn down and rebuilt 15 feet further back from the roadway.

Visibility for cars coming around the curve coming off the bridge on the eastern side has also been expanded significantly.

Goodwin says there is still more than a month’s work to do, but the end is near. “At this point our target is at the end of January, but more likely the beginning of February.”

The third lane on the bridge is expected to relieve the frequent backups on eastbound Interstate 580 eastbound and northbound Highway 101 during the afternoon commute.

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