Proposed California 93 - Richmond Parkway
California 93 is a state route legislatively defined to include three distinct sections. The first section of proposed California 93, as defined in the state Streets and Highways Code, would link a point in Moraga (at unconstructed California 77) with California 24 in Orinda. The second segment would link California 24 and Interstate 80 via an alignment approximately parallel to San Pablo Dam Road. These two segments are unlikely to be built anytime soon, if at all.
The third segment, which has a nearly-suitable arterial/expressway along the approximate path, exists as the Richmond Parkway. This route is not a state route at this time, even 511 travel information signs along the route imply that the Richmond Parkway is already California 93 by using the route number on their sign codes.
Richmond Parkway is maintained by the city of Richmond and Contra Costa County, based on whether the parkway is within the urban limits of Richmond or not. As of 2008, Richmond Parkway consists of 9.5 miles, 18 traffic signal systems, a 2,200-foot long viaduct near Giant Highway, 400 drainage structures, 500 street lights, two pump stations, four grade separations, and 12 acres of landscaping.
Some of the key dates in the development of the Richmond Parkway are highlighted below:1, 2, 3, 4
- 1958 - The legislative definition of California 93, which includes what is now Richmond Parkway, was approved by the California state legislature and added to the state Streets and Highways Code in 1958 and modified in 1963 to reflect the consolidation of legislative and state signed numerical designations.
- 1986 - The Route 93 Committee (a Joint Exercise of Powers Agency between the County, local cities, and redevelopment agencies) formed to sponsor construction of the Richmond Parkway portion.
- 1988 - Funding for the parkway started to become identified, including bridge tolls (SB 45) funds due to the parkway' role in bringing traffic to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and the passage of Measure C, a one-half cent sales tax dedicated to transportation.
- 1990 - A project study report for the parkway was completed, and construction followed soon thereafter.
- 1992 - Caltrans and the city of Richmond entered a cooperative agreement that would leave Richmond Parkway under local jurisdiction but also would leave the door open for future consideration of state takeover of the route should improvements bring the parkway to state standards.
- 1996 - Completion of the Richmond Parkway (including Castro Street, which is considered to be part of the parkway as part of the primary route to Interstate 580 west) in six segments at a cost of $193 million. The parkway is largely constructed at urban arterial standards with a 45-mile-per-hour speed limit.
- 1998 - Caltrans issues a letter on April 30, 1998, stating that it would not assume responsibility for the Richmond Parkway as part of California 93 unless the Richmond Parkway is brought up to expressway standards due to the fact that the state Streets and Highways Code defines California 93 as part of the state' freeway and expressway system.
- 2008 - Study completed suggesting that the conversion of Richmond Parkway to state expressway standards would cost $262 million and the conversion to urban arterial standards would cost $94 million. The study advised that the expressway conversion would be cost prohibitive and that unless Caltrans allowed takeover of the Richmond Parkway as an urban arterial rather than an expressway, it would likely remain an asset of the city of Richmond and Contra Costa County.
- 2011 - Project to upgrade Richmond Parkway to urban arterial standards in order to transfer route to Caltrans is abandoned due to lack of funding. The project could be resurrected if additional funding for the upgrade is identified (aside from a very small amount added to the project from the 2011 Measure J transportation sales tax).
According to the February 2008 Richmond Parkway Upgrade Project Final Summary Report, the city of Richmond preffered to transfer Richmond Parkway to the state given its role in linking Interstates 80 and 580. However, the state did not accept maintenance of the previously constructed Richmond Parkway facility because it did not meet state expressway standards. Costs at the time to bring the parkway up to those standards was $262 million. It was viewed as cost prohibitive. However, other improvements related to bringing the parkway to urban arterial standards as identified in the 2008 report and incorporated into the 2011 Measure J sales tax may be completed as funding is identified.1
|Richmond Parkway angles southwest along a 2,220 feet long viaduct across Giant Highway, railroad tracks and a flood plain. Photos taken 07/02/13.|
- 2011 Strategic Plan Fact Sheet - Richmond Parkway
http://www.ccta.net/assets/documents/Fact~Sheets~-~Measure~C/1300.pdfby Contra Costa Transportation Authority dated December 2011.
- Richmond Parkway Upgrade Project Final Summary Report
http://www.ccta.net/assets/documents/Available~Publications/Studies~and~EIRs/Richmond%20Parkway%20Upgrade%20Project.pdfby Contra Costa Transportation Authority dated February 2008.
- Section 3.5: Richmond Parkway Action Plan.
- Measure J Strategic Plan - July 2011 | Project Fact Sheet: Richmond Parkway Upgrade to Caltrans Standards by Contra Costa Transportation Authority.
Page Updated July 21, 2013.