Work on a much-needed connection between the Antioch Bridge and Highway 4 began this morning with a brief groundbreaking ceremony. On hand were staff from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and its partners, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)/Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and state, regional and local officials.
The new ramps—one connecting westbound Highway 4 to northbound State Route 160, and one connecting southbound State Route 160 to eastbound Highway 4—will alleviate congestion through Oakley and improve access to eastern Contra Costa County.
The addition of the interchange connectors is part of a massive $1.3 billion undertaking to widen the Highway 4 corridor between Pittsburg and Antioch in eastern Contra Costa County, and to extend BART to Antioch (eBART). “The breaking of ground on this latest segment of the Highway 4 improvement projects is furthering our efforts to improve regional mobility, revitalize the local economy, and improve the quality of life for 250,000 residents in East County,” said CCTA Executive Director Randell Iwasaki. “These projects are possible in large part due to the passage of a local half-cent sales tax by Contra Costa voters in 2004.”
CCTA is responsible for maintaining and improving the county’s transportation system by planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs.
When completed in 2016, the Direct Connector Ramps project will add an additional 12-foot auxiliary lane to State Route 160 in both directions between the SR 160/Hwy. 4 Interchange and the East 18th/Main Street Interchange. The new structure will cross the median of Highway 4 at a height that can accommodate a future eBART extension.
The project will feature soundwall extensions and new retaining walls in addition to the 2.62 new lane miles under construction, and is funded entirely by $50 million in Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) Bridge Toll Funds. “MTC/BATA is proud to support these important improvements, which will enhance safety and mobility for the residents and motorists of eastern Contra Costa County,” said MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger.