Highway 4 Transportation Improvement Projects Mark Important Milestone

Press Release
Highway 4 Transportation Improvement Projects Mark Important Milestone

Ivy Morrison: Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA): 510-333-4742
Allyn Amsk: Caltrans, District 4: 510-286-5445
Luna Salaver: Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART): 510-874-7474

Antioch, CA: Today the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 4 celebrated the start of construction on the final segment of the Highway 4 corridor projects, which includes the construction of the eBART station facilities in Antioch. This marks an important step in the $1.3 billion endeavor to improve transportation in eastern Contra Costa County between Pittsburg and Brentwood.

CCTA Executive Director Randy Iwasaki said, “The voters of Contra Costa County have shown that they value better transportation options and multimodal investments when they reauthorized a countywide half-cent sales tax measure in 2004 through Measure J. The Highway 4 projects fulfill the vision of improved mobility and transit access from eastern Contra Costa County to the greater Bay Area for the more than 250,000 residents of eastern Contra Costa County.”

“For many years, residents of East County, one of the fastest-growing areas of the Bay Area, have been paying to support BART while dealing with some of the worst traffic in the area,” said Joel Keller, BART Director. “The eBART extension addresses this need. Additionally, not only does the construction phase create jobs, eBART will bring jobs to East County, and greatly increase access to jobs throughout the Bay Area for East County residents. As part of BART’s commitment to the community, we have established a Local Hire program for eBART construction contracts, and are participating in the Helmets to Hardhats effort to employ veterans returning from service.”

“Caltrans worked very closely with our local partners to develop these vital transportation projects,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Everyone will benefit when our work is done – commuters, businesses, and local residents.”

About State Route 4 Corridor Improvements & eBART:
The Highway 4 projects include improvements to the entire project corridor that will help revitalize eastern Contra Costa County. The projects expand Highway 4 from four to eight lanes between Loveridge Road in Pittsburg to Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch and to six lanes from Hillcrest to State Route 160; the projects also add a BART extension from Pittsburg to Antioch (eBART). This will greatly improve transit accessibility for the region and help reduce traffic congestion and enhance the quality of life for the more than 250,000 residents of eastern Contra Costa County. The projects have been carefully staged to keep 130,000 vehicles per day moving as major construction and demolition work continue, and include over $1.3 billion in State, Federal, Regional Bridge Toll and Contra Costa Measures C & J sales tax.

The eBART line will use DMU (diesel multiple-unit) trains, which are smaller than standard BART trains. They will enable East County residents to board a train at the Antioch Station and arrive at Pittsburg/Bay Point BART in 10 minutes. The DMU train was chosen to bring BART-quality rail service to East County at a lower cost than conventional BART. The line is slated to begin service in 2017.