I’m honored to now represent Bethel Island, Oakley and the majority of the City of Antioch in District III. These communities are now joined with Blackhawk, Diablo, Byron, Discovery Bay, Brentwood and Knightsen as communities I was elected to represent in 2004.
Since redistricting took effect on Sept. 9, my staff and I have attended many local community events and are enjoying the very welcoming reception. I am planning a community Town Hall, where we will be able to go into more detail of all that we have been working on, but will share some major transportation highlights with you here.
Since my election to the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, I have focused on several critical areas of county responsibility as top priorities, including the county budget, Vasco Road, Highway 4 and the Delta. My driving fundamentals are to make the county more accountable, efficient and accessible.
Vasco Road, a heavily traveled dual-commute route that links Contra Costa with Alameda County, was suffering from severe accidents and fatalities. I went to work with county staff and we implemented a safety measure called a “soft” barrier along the entire corridor. This barrier project significantly altered driving behavior by creating the feel of a barrier while still maintaining the important public safety access on Vasco Road.
Simultaneously, with the creation of the double-fine zone, we joined forces with the California Highway Patrol and its safety grant to promote the Drive Safe – Stay Alive public-awareness campaign. We made significant community outreach at community events and gatherings to promote driver safety during the life of the grant.
These efforts, and most importantly those of the drivers on Vasco Road, have significantly reduced collisions and fatalities on this heavily traveled route – a successful outcome we can all live with.
Today, the first phase of a two-phase permanent safety barrier project is under construction, with completion anticipated by the end of the year. This project is a permanent concrete barrier along the most heavily impacted area of accidents and includes lane widening, passing-lane extensions and major bridge work. I remain committed to Vasco Road safety and am currently working to secure funding for Phase II of the Vasco Road Safety Improvement project.
As a commuter on Highway 4, I know that widening this roadway is vital to the success and economic vitality of our region. As a member of the East County transportation committee network, I have been an advocate for immediate short- and long-term improvements to get commuters to work on time and back home for dinner. Local revenues secured through developer mitigation fees for transportation projects are coming together with other local, state and federal dollars. Today, we have approximately $1 billion being invested into the East County transportation corridor.
Highway 4 has been widened to eight lanes to Pittsburg’s Loveridge Road and is now rapidly moving east to the Antioch Bridge. This lane widening will significantly benefit the overall quality of life for all East County residents who face this gauntlet every day.
With the philosophy that something is better than nothing, we are getting eBART to a station near Antioch’s Hillcrest Avenue. While I share the concern that our area of the County has paid BART taxes for decades without benefit, the eBART project will provide far East County residents direct access to the entire BART system.
The station platform exchange at Bay Point that is under construction today will combine the two train systems, regular BART and eBART. The eBART track will be built in the center median of Highway 4 and head east to Hillcrest Avenue. Recent efforts secured the study of extending the line beyond Antioch and is a work in progress.
The interchange ramps at Highway 160 North and the Highway 4 Bypass will be under construction soon. The Highway 4 Bypass interchange at Sand Creek Road is being redesigned to improve traffic flows. Both of these projects are fully funded and moving forward.
My district office is conveniently located in Brentwood, and we can be reached at 925-240-7260. We do regular e-mail alerts on county projects, road closures and other issues of importance. If you would like to receive these updates, or have suggestions for future topics, please give us a call or e-mail us at email@example.com.