The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) received $25 million from the state earlier this year to convert the Sand Creek Road intersection to an entrance/exit-ramp interchange, a $33 million project. The officials were banking on savings on a segment of the Highway 4 widening project to cover the remaining cost, a notion that looks promising.
According to CCTA Engineering Manager Hisham Noeimi, contractor CC Myers of Rancho Cordova put in a bid of $42,380,000 to work on the Contra Loma Boulevard interchange in Antioch – roughly $8.5 million less than expected. If Caltrans OKs the bid, the savings from that project will go toward improving the meeting of Sand Creek Road and the Bypass.
“It’s nice to have positives in East County for transportation solutions,” said Brian Kalinowski, chairman of regional transportation board TRANSPLAN. “I think in about three or four years, when all these projects are done, people are going to really appreciate the hard work. It’s hard work that people have done for a decade to make these things come to fruition.”
Noeimi noted that essentially, CCTA can start planning two projects – the Sand Creek Road interchange and the widening of the Bypass from Laurel Road to the interchange. He estimated that it would take Caltrans a couple months to formally award the bid. Once that’s finalized, groundbreaking could commence by February.
“They came in line with our expectations,” Noeimi said. “We’re getting two projects moving here.”
After years of trying to receive federal funding for the project, local transportation officials were high on the priority list for Corridor Mobility Improvement Account money from the state in June.
Currently, the intersection of Sand Creek Road and the Bypass is controlled by traffic lights. After work is completed – roughly 18 months after groundbreaking – the entrance/exit at Sand Creek Road will look and function much like the Bypass junctions at Laurel Road in Oakley and Lone Tree Way in Antioch.
Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor is excited at the prospect of dispersing the gridlock caused by the Sand Creek-Bypass bottleneck. When the project is completed, southbound commuters can drive from Antioch to Brentwood without hitting a traffic light until Balfour Road.
“We are very, very excited because this is a great asset for all of far East County,” Taylor said. “We have to dot the I’s and cross the T’s to make sure all the project bids are in order, but it’s good stuff for the locals.”
Construction on the Contra Loma Boulevard through L Street segment of Highway 4 will likely start in January. The project will also eliminate the on and off ramps at G Street. Right now, workers are widening Highway 4 from Loveridge Road in Pittsburg through Antioch’s Somersville Road. Both projects are slated to conclude in mid-to-late 2013.
Kalinowski noted that more details regarding the Sand Creek Road interchange would be discussed at the next TRANSPLAN meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Tri Delta Transit headquarters, 801 Wilbur Ave. in Antioch.