Small time work turns into full time closure


By | Charlotte Rutigliano

The closure on the state route 299

Mother Nature works against the California Department of Transportation making roads a little less traveled.

Since January 2016 the California Department of Transportation, known as Caltrans, has been doing construction on state Route 299. The ongoing project initially began with the placement of a drapery, netting that prevents rock fall, near Big French Creek Road. Due to weather conditions over the past year, Caltrans continuously raises their budget spending close to $6 million for this emergency work.

Because of all the construction on state Route 299, residents in both Humboldt and Trinity counties have had to take detours. Some of these detours are only open during certain hours of the day.

Trisha Coder is the District 2 Public Information Officer for Caltrans. Coder stated that residents have had to to take detours on state Routes 20 and 36 along with Interstate 5 over Oregon Mountain for several weeks.

Two weeks ago we opened the temporary detour that we are building to local traffic, meaning anyone who works or lives in the Trinity/Humboldt area,” Coder said.

The detour is open from 5:30-7:30 a.m., 4:30-6:30 p.m. and overnight from 6:30 p.m. -5:00 a.m. There are one hour delays overnight due to the contractor working simultaneously overnight.

These delays not only affect residents along state Route 299 but programs at Humboldt State like TriO Upward Bound; a program that travels every three to four weeks between Humboldt and Trinity counties to provide academic services to high school students from limited income families.

Jen Dyke, TriO Upward Bound director, stated that with all the closures and construction on state Route 299 it takes longer to travel because they have to make a larger loop with the detours.

“Though it’s time consuming for the program, they’re doing great work, brave work,” Dyke said.

For now residents have to adjust to time restricted closure since Caltrans doesn’t expect to have state Route 299 fully open until mid-summer.

Additional information from Caltrans website about the work that has been done over the past year:

SR 299/BUCKHORN GRADE: 24/7 traffic control operations in effect between Redding and Weaverville. Expect delays up to 45 mins. The Capstone project is expected to be completed Winter 2016.

JUNCTION OF SR 3 AND 299-DOWNTOWN WEAVERVILLE: Paving is expected to begin following the Labor Day weekend, September 6, 2016. Paving will take place in the overnight hours and is expected to last about one-and-a-half weeks.

SR 299E/Near Ingot: One-way traffic control will be in effect Monday, August 1, 2016 to Friday, August 5,2016, 24 hours a day, near McCandless Gulch Curve. Crews will be performing curve straightening, widening the shoulders and installing metal beam guard rail. Motorists should expect delays between 10-15 minutes.

299 E/PIT ONE SHOULDER WIDENING: Crews are working to widen the shoulders at the narrow pass on Pit One Summit. 24 hour traffic control is in place. Expect 10-15 minute delays.

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