Iconic Tunnel to Be Renamed in Honor of Robin Williams

New signs could be posted as soon as this fall, officials say


A Bay Area landmark will soon be known as the "Robin Williams Tunnel.”

The California State Legislature has passed a resolution to rename the iconic rainbow-adorned Waldo Tunnel on U.S. Highway 101 in Marin County in honor of the late actor who grew up and lived in the Bay Area.

The vote by the state Senate last Thursday was 37-0. The state Assembly passed the resolution introduced by Assemblyman Marc Levine 77-0 on April 23.

A petition by Belvedere resident Julie Wainwright to rename the tunnel received nearly 62,000 signatures.

Wainwright, CEO of TheRealReal consignment website that sells luxury items, said she lives three miles from Williams' Tiburon home where the actor and comedian took his own life last Aug. 11.

"I often saw him running errands, walking the dog, performing at local theater, working at the coffee shop," Wainwright said on the Change.org website where the signatures were gathered.

"Robin wasn't just an international icon – he was an integral part of our community here in the Bay Area. We claim him as our own," Wainwright said.

Wainwright said the rainbows on the tunnel personify Williams’ playful, accessible, fun, alive and colorful nature.

"Robin will be dearly missed, but I hope this change will provide us with a happy memory of him and will bring more awareness of the disease that sadly took his life," Wainwright said.

Williams' family had said he was battling depression and had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease prior to his death.

Officials said the name change will cost about $3,000. Caltrans will determine the cost of erecting the appropriate signs, which will be paid with donations from non-state sources. The new signs could be up as soon as the fall.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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