Interstate 580 West - Marin County


Interstate 580/Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (John F. McCarthy Memorial Bridge) west
This series of pictures shows the Marin County segment of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (John F. McCarthy Memorial Bridge) along Interstate 580 west. The bridge passes high above San Pablo Bay/San Francisco Bay, connecting the cities of Richmond and San Rafael. The bridge opened to traffic in 1956 and was retrofitted for earthquake safety in 2005. Photos taken 05/25/06 and 07/02/13.
Descending from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (John F. McCarthy Memorial Bridge) along Interstate 580 west, the freeway approaches Exit 2B, Francisco Boulevard (frontage road) west and Main Street south to San Quentin. A scenic view of the bridge is also available at Exit 2B on the north side of the freeway. This substandard sign was not replaced during recent activity to replace the deck on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Upon landing near San Quentin, Interstate 580 enters San Rafael, which was incorporated on February 18, 1874, and is home to 57,713 people as of the 2010 Census. San Rafael serves as the seat to Marin County. Photos taken 05/25/06 and 07/02/13.
Interstate 580 west
The off-ramp from Interstate 580 to Francisco Boulevard to San Quentin State Penitentiary. This substandard sign was not replaced during the mid-2000s redecking of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Photo taken 05/25/06.
Exiting onto Exit 2B, continue straight ahead to follow Francisco Boulevard to U.S. 101 south or turn left to San Quentin State Prison. Photo taken 05/25/06.
The next exit along westbound Interstate 580 is Exit 2A, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (proposed California 251) to U.S. 101 south. Photo taken 11/26/04.
Signage along this section of Interstate 580 is curiously poor. Use Exit 2A, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to U.S. 101 south. It would be nice if the sign actually said that, rather than "To U.S. 101 south next right." There is no advance signage even mentioning a junction with U.S. 101, adding to the confusion. Photo taken 05/08/05.
The next exit along westbound Interstate 580 is Exit 2A, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to U.S. 101 south. This connector follows the proposed route of California 251, which is unconstructed but is the explanation for the freeway to freeway connection between Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and U.S. 101. Photo taken 05/25/06.
Trucks to San Quentin State Prison must use Exit 2A (rather than Exit 2B). Westbound Interstate 580 reaches Exit 2A, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (proposed California 251). Photo taken 05/25/06.
An old flyover ramp carries the connection to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard over Interstate 580. The original bridge was to be two lanes, but due to the lack of shoulder and lack of freeway connection to U.S. 101 south, it only has one lane for the transition. Photos taken 05/25/06.
Interstate 580 west passes under the flyover for Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The freeway retains two lanes in each direction, and the speed limit remains 55 miles per hour. Photo taken 07/02/13.
The freeway straightens out a bit for a final time. The final mile or so has no exits; Interstate 580 will finally come to an end at the interchange with U.S. 101 at Exit 1A. Photo taken 05/08/05.
The penultimate exit from Interstate 580 west is Exit 1B, Francisco Boulevard/Bellam Boulevard. Since there is no direct access ramp to U.S. 101 south, one can exit at this diamond interchange, turn left on Bellam Boulevard, turn right on Andersen Drive, and turn right again on Francisco Boulevard East to U.S. 101 south. This exit also serves Francisco Boulevard West, which parallels U.S. 101 north into downtown San Rafael. Photo taken 07/02/13.
An overhead sign was added on Interstate 580 westbound for Exit 1B, Francisco Boulevard/Bellam Boulevard. Photo taken 07/02/13.
A U.S. 101/end Interstate 580 shield assembly is posted prior to the off-ramp to Exit 1B, Francisco Boulevard and Bellam Boulevard. This shield assembly was replaced and reassembled between 2005 and 2013. Photos taken 07/02/13 and 05/08/05.
The right lane has a connection to Exit 1B, Francisco Boulevard and Bellam Boulevard to U.S. 101 (Redwood Highway) south. However, both lanes directly connect to Exit 1A, U.S. 101 (Redwood Highway) north to downtown San Rafael. These porcelain enamel signs date back to when this interchange was signed as the north end of California 17. Photos taken 07/02/13 and 05/08/05.
This series of pictures follows the off-ramp from Interstate 580 to Exit 1B, Francisco Boulevard and Bellam Boulevard. Signs are posted for the connection to U.S. 101 south. Photos taken 07/02/13.
Still on the off-ramp, turn right for Francisco Boulevard or turn left for Bellam Boulevard south and Bellam Boulevard north. Signs are posted for the connection to U.S. 101 south. Photos taken 07/02/13.
Returning to the transition ramp from Interstate 580 west to U.S. 101 north, we follow some weaving ramps. Interstate 580' two lanes reduce to one lane and then merge with traffic from Bellam Boulevard/Francisco Boulevard (Exit 1B). Photo taken 05/08/05.
Quickly thereafter, Interstate 580' single lane merges onto U.S. 101 north just south of downtown San Rafael. Continue north on U.S. 101 to Santa Rosa, Ukiah, Eureka, and Crescent City before entering the state of Oregon. This marks the western end of Interstate 580. Photo taken 05/08/05.


I-580 ends Transition onto U.S. 101 north to Santa Rosa
Return to the Interstate 580 Guide  Return to the California Gateway

Page Updated July 21, 2013.

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