Most of the major work has been completed on the road, which will connect Highway 4 past the Hillcrest Avenue exit to Lone Tree Way, where it will connect to the existing middle Bypass segment in Brentwood.
The delay is due in part to the need to do the final asphalt paving and striping work when the temperature is above 50 degrees for at least five or six hours, said Project Manager Dale Dennis at the Jan. 10 meeting of the Highway 4 Bypass Authority.
"We have been delayed somewhat based on the cold in December and with the recent rains, and now we are in a winter pattern," said Dennis. "We're looking for warm weather.
"The contractual opening date was Jan. 17. But with the cold weather and the rains we are looking at the first week of February. But if we continue to have rains and cold weather it's difficult to determine exactly (when it will open)."
Due to that uncertainty, Dennis was looking for guidance from the board members on when the ribbon cutting ceremony should be held. He suggested Feb. 8 at 2 p.m., but admitted that there's a chance the road won't yet be open at that point. And Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor found that possibility unacceptable.
"The last thing you want to have is a ribbon cutting ceremony and then not open it," said Taylor. "Because the drivers will assume that road will be open. That scares me. This is a big asset to all of the community. If everyone walks away (from the opening ceremony) and the road's closed, it's not good."
In order to play it safe, board members agreed to hold the ribbon cutting two or three weeks after the road opens.
When the Oakley segment opens, it's expected to take much of the truck and through-traffic off of Main Street in Oakley as well as off Brentwood Boulevard in Brentwood and Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch.
Trucks will be allowed on the Oakley segment but will continue to be banned from the middle segment of the three-segment Bypass until the southernmost segment is finished this summer.
That segment will connect the middle at Balfour Road with Marsh Creek Road and Vasco Road. Future plans include widening the middle segment to four lanes and adding interchanges at major roads along the Bypass.
Dennis said that the rains caused some flooding in the area where Sand Creek Road is planned to intersect with the Bypass, resulting in a temporary lane closure. He said this problem is expected to be fixed in the next week.