RICHMOND -- Caltrans was set to begin work on the Interstate 580 Scofield Avenue and Western Drive Bridge Decks Replacement Project on Wednesday night and continue for the next few weeks. The agency says at least one lane in each direction will remain open at all times but warns motorists to expect traffic delays around the eastern end of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge during construction.

Construction was to start from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, with lane re-striping on eastbound I-580, just east of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, from Western Drive to Canal Boulevard. "In addition, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., there will be brief closures of the eastbound I-580 Western Drive onramp," with a flagger directing traffic, Caltrans announced.

The shoulder of westbound I-580 between the Castro Street onramp and the Western Drive undercrossing will be repaved from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, and re-striping work from 9 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday will mean closure of various lanes. Traffic will be reduced from three lanes to two between Castro and Western Drive when that work is done and the right lane will remain the cash lane for the toll plaza, while FasTrak and carpool vehicles should use the left lane.

The eastbound I-580 bike lane will be closed Tuesday night for shoulder work, and phone numbers will be posted at the work area for a free shuttle service to take bicyclists through the construction zone.

Shoulder work and the bike lane closure will continue from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Work is weather-dependent and will be rescheduled if there is a delay. Motorists are asked to drive with caution during construction times.

Actual replacement of westbound bridge decks is scheduled for early June, which will mean closing the eastbound Western Drive onramp for about three months. During that time, vehicles and trucks exceeding 3/4 ton "will travel westbound across the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, exit at the San Quentin interchange, turn left at the end of the off-ramp, and turn left at the on-ramp to eastbound I-580," Caltrans states. "The detour across the bridge and back is about 9 miles long, and the extra travel time will be about 10 minutes, regardless of the time of day."

The agency says it plans additional outreach to the Point Molate Community Advisory Committee, the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council, and residents on Western Drive.

More details about the project are online at www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/580scofieldave/.