County of Marin - News Releases - Nicasio Valley Road Bridge

For Immediate Release
June 14, 2017

Rehabilitation of West Marin Bridge Moves Forward

Planned project for rural bridge replacement to be presented at public meeting

San Rafael, CA – Nicasio Valley Road Bridge in West Marin, which was constructed in 1928, has been identified for replacement by Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW). The project is now in the design concept phase and DPW will host a community workshop at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, at Nicasio Elementary School to present the preliminary research and gather public input. The school is at 5555 Nicasio Valley Road.

A recent view of the Nicasio Valley Bridge.The Nicasio Valley Road Bridge was built during the Coolidge administration in the year Mickey Mouse made his debut and sliced bread was marketed for the first time.
The 89-year-old bridge spans Nicasio Creek near the intersection of Lucas Valley Road and Nicasio Valley Road, about 14 miles west of downtown San Rafael. Nicasio Valley Road is a two-lane roadway that functions as a major artery for commuters between West Marin and San Rafael. DPW engineers and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) determined that the existing bridge does not meet safety standards for two lanes of traffic. Additionally the bridge’s guardrails have been damaged from traffic impacts over the decades and need to be updated to meet today’s standards.

Specialists concluded that repairs will not suffice to fix the bridge’s reinforced concrete structure, which is at the end of its design life and showing signs of long-term deterioration. A full replacement is needed to continue providing safe passage for traffic. To provide a complete and thorough upgrade to the route, the project improvements are anticipated to extend about 600 feet along Nicasio Valley Road on either side of Nicasio Creek and 400 feet east along Lucas Valley Road. The result will be a reconstructed intersection at Lucas Valley Road and Nicasio Valley Road.

In line with DPW’s ongoing effort to protect riparian habitats county-wide, an environmental review of the project area will be conducted. Nicasio Creek is a valued riparian habitat and several rare wildlife species are in the vicinity of the site. Based on the review, the project design will be tailored to protect the wildlife and minimize creek impacts. Results of the environmental review will be presented at a future public meeting as the project develops.

The project is 88.5 percent funded by the federal Highway Bridge Program, which is administered through Caltrans, with the remaining 11.5 percent being locally funded by Marin County. DPW has received $15 million to use toward five active bridge replacement projects and one bridge rehabilitation project. The federal grant will be used to conduct environmental studies, perform public outreach, secure permits, perform right-of-way services, develop engineering plans, and to construct each of these bridges. More information on the six bridges can be found on DPW’s engineering project webpage.


RJ Suokko
Senior Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-4399
Email: RJ Suokko
DPW webpage