Most of the visible progress on Highway 4 is taking place in Pittsburg and Antioch, where drivers are taking advantage of the new lanes. Eventually, all of Highway 4 from Pittsburg through Brentwood will be widened to four lanes in each direction.
Three of the five planned projects administered by Caltrans and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority are underway: the freeway segments from Loveridge Road in Pittsburg to Somersville Road in Antioch, from Somersville to L Street/Contra Loma Boulevard and from Contra Loma to Lone Tree Way.
Highway 4 spokeswoman Anna Reiss said the projects are running smoothly and reporting no major delays so far. “I think we’re pretty well on schedule,” Reiss said. “Nothing out of the ordinary for a construction project.”
According to widensr4.org, the main information hub for the project, the Loveridge segment will wrap up by the end of 2013. Contractors are now working on the overpass along the Loveridge Road exit, hoping to soon switch traffic over to the new bridge.
In a Wednesday press release, Reiss noted that the contractor working on that part of the highway will close a portion of North Park Boulevard at Loveridge Road on Monday, April 9. Access to and from Loveridge Road via North Park Boulevard will be closed for about six month. Signs will be installed to direct drivers to North Park Plaza.
The stretch along Somersville is due to be finished in the middle of next year. Some of the most noticeable recent changes are the new on and off ramps in the westbound direction at Somersville. As with the vicinity of Loveridge Road, workers are hoping to bridge westbound drivers over to the new lanes so they can continue work on the older lanes.
Contractors should finish in the L Street/Contra Loma area by mid-2015. Earlier this year, workers closed off the G Street exit for good. Reiss said in order to accommodate new on-and-off ramps at the L Street/Contra Loma exit, the project called for the elimination of the G Street exit.
For the stretch of freeway near Lone Tree Way and A Street in Antioch, Reiss said the job has been advertised and bids are scheduled for opening on April 18.
Meanwhile in Brentwood, Mayor Bob Taylor excitedly announced that a low bidder has emerged to turn the Sand Creek Road/State Route 4 intersection into a normal highway exit. Bay Cities/Myers has agreed to take on the job for $23.5 million, roughly $3 million under engineers’ projections.
Taylor estimated that a groundbreaking would be held in June. Work will take roughly two years to complete. Instead of dealing with a standard intersection and traffic lights, drivers on southbound State Route 4 will be able to drive past Sand Creek Road all the way to Balfour Road without stopping.
In the current configuration, “You can get in a long wait there,” Taylor said. “The only thing it can do now is improve. It’s going to get better, better and better.”
The low bid ensures that no additional money will be needed from federal, state or county sources. In December, local transportation officials declared the project to be fully funded.