Ribbon cutting ceremony held for completion of Hwy. 4 project in Antioch

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Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday to celebration after a project to expand Highway 4 was completed. (KGO-TV)

There was a big celebration for a big project in the East Bay that's brought relief to commuters. Improvements include expanding Highway 4 from 4 to 8 lanes between Loveridge Road and State Road 160 and adding a BART extension from Pittsburg to Antioch.

Cutting the ribbon Wednesday morning was a formality. The new lanes of Highway 4 have been open for a couple of weeks now and area transportation officials say it is having an impact. "It's doing what it is supposed to be doing, which is making sure the roadway is safer, it 's more efficient and more reliable," Contra Costa Transportation Authority spokesperson Randy Iwasaki said.

Politicians and transportation officials were thrilled to finally get to celebrate the finished product of the new wider Highway 4.

"Many times we thought this day would never happen. It's a very fulfilling feeling after working on 6 years of working on State Route 4 -- to finally finish it is pretty cool," said Randy Iwasaki, Exec. Director CCTA.

Drivers, even current mayors, all have tales about being stuck on Highway 4 heading from East Contra Costa County toward San Francisco.

"I spent about 17 years at the Emeryville Police Department, most of it I spent on Highway 4. I'm going to have an anger translator talk after I get done," said Antioch Mayor Wade Harper.

The tone of the morning was to celebrate, but also appreciate all the work that went into widening this highway. Officials also wanted to thank drivers for putting up with all the construction.

"It's like the construction project on your kitchen. You want to pull your hair out but when it is done you love your kitchen. Now we are all going to love this project," said U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) Stockton.

Officials say about 130,000 people drive on the highway every day and they estimate it will give them back about 15 minutes a day.

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