(News from Contra Costa Transportation Authority)
Antioch, CA – A community celebration and ribbon cutting this morning marked the completion of the Highway 4 Widening Projects, a six-year-long collaborative endeavor by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Transportation Commission and the Federal Highway Administration.
Highway 4, an important artery spanning nearly all of Contra Costa County, was for years one of the worst commutes in the Bay Area. The Highway 4 Widening Projects include improvements that expand Highway 4 from four to eight lanes between Loveridge Road in Pittsburg to just west of State Route 160 in Antioch and from two to four lanes from Lone Tree Way to Balfour Road in Brentwood. The projects also added missing connector ramps at the State Route 160/Highway 4 interchange and will add a BART extension from Pittsburg to Antioch. This will greatly improve transit accessibility for the region, help reduce traffic congestion and enhance the quality of life for the more than 250,000 residents of eastern Contra Costa County.
CCTA funded more than a quarter of the project ($362 million) through Measure J, a half-cent sales tax reauthorized by Contra Costa voters in 2004, and through the previous Measure C.
“The Highway 4 widening and BART extension projects would not have been possible without the support of Contra Costa voters in 2004, or without the help of partner agencies. We look forward to continued public support for additional innovations and improvements on the Highway 4 corridor in the future,” said CCTA Chair Dave Hudson. “The Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s investment in improving Highway 4 will have a ripple effect across the county and provide tangible benefits not just for East County residents, but for all travelers who live, work or drive through this corridor.”
With the exception of just one structure, the entire highway facility between Pittsburg and Brentwood was reconstructed, including 21 bridges. These projects were built to last using the latest materials, including asphalt concrete (the total weight of asphalt placed is over 228,000 tons). In addition to bringing 12,775 high-paying construction jobs to the region, the projects have laid the infrastructure for potential permanent employment centers along East County’s northern waterfront.
“We are working with regional transportation planners to plan for California’s future, including this thriving community,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “We are committed to developing a transportation network that maximizes every dollar of investment.”
The Highway 4 Widening Projects include a median wide enough to accommodate a 10-mile BART extension from Pittsburg to Antioch. Now that all highway segments are complete, the BART line will be installed, and the BART station at Hillcrest is expected to open in the winter of 2017-2018.
“We are proud to be a partner on this important project to bring regional connectivity to East Contra Costa County,” said Joel Keller, BART District 2 Director. “The BART extension is being constructed with a new kind of train for the region, one that is 60% less costly to build than traditional BART trains.”
Members of East County’s rapidly-growing community enjoyed food and music as CCTA and its partners, joined by state, regional and local officials, cut a ceremonial ribbon on the newly-widened highway.
For additional information about the Highway 4 Corridor Projects, please visit www.4eastcounty.org.
About the Highway 4 Corridor Projects
The Highway 4 Corridor Projects include improvements that will help modernize eastern Contra Costa County. The projects expand Highway 4 from four to eight lanes between Loveridge Road in Pittsburg to just west of State Route 160 in Antioch and from two to four lanes from Lone Tree Way to Balfour Road in Brentwood, add missing connector ramps at the State Route 160/Highway 4 interchange and add a BART extension from Pittsburg to Antioch. This will greatly improve transit accessibility for the region, help reduce traffic congestion and enhance the quality of life for the more than 250,000 residents of eastern Contra Costa County. The projects have been carefully staged to keep 130,000 vehicles per day moving as major construction and demolition work continue. These projects, plus previously constructed projects in the region, bring the total investment in East County to $1.3 billion, including State, Federal, Contra Costa Transportation Authority Measures C and J, regional bridge tolls and other funds.