ANTIOCH -- After this weekend, Highway 4 drivers won't have to worry about curving lanes near Somersville Road anymore.
Eastbound traffic will be shifted onto a portion of a recently completed bridge over Somersville after a closure early Saturday morning, according to a Contra Costa Transportation Authority news release.
The traffic shift, which will eliminate the two existing "S curves" near Somersville, represents another milestone in the half-billion-dollar project to widen Highway 4 from four to eight lanes from Pittsburg's Loveridge Road through Antioch, said Ivy Morrison, a transportation authority spokeswoman.
"The new configuration will be a noticeable improvement to drivers," she said. "It will be a straighter shot."
All eastbound lanes between Loveridge and Somersville will be closed from 2 to 6 a.m. to ensure workers' safety. Drivers will be detoured off the road at Loveridge and down East Leland Road to the freeway on-ramp at Somersville.
The curves in the road were the result of temporary lane shifts as two bridges were built over Somersville. The shifts and periodic changes in lane dividers over the past two years prompted local officials to put out occasional safety alerts for drivers.
Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, who represents the city on regional transportation issues, says he notices the curves on the road all the time, even pointing them out to passengers.
"It's going to be good for drivers. It's a sign that, little by little, there's progress being made," he said.
Similar road changes will snake eastward down the freeway as work will soon start to widen the bridges over Contra Loma Boulevard, Lone Tree Way and Hillcrest Avenue.
For information and updates on Highway 4 road work, visit http://4eastcounty.org.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.