Home News Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project Selects Tunnel Alternative

Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project Selects Tunnel Alternative

Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project Selects Tunnel Alternative

Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project helps construct U.S. 101 tunnel

The construction of a tunnel under U.S. 101 in Del Norte County could be possible due to the Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project. This highway has long been plagued by landslides and unaffordable upkeep.

To effectively move the Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project forward, Caltrans has chosen Alternative F, a 6,000-foot tunnel that avoids local landslides and realigns the freeway. The tunnel would be the longest ever to be constructed across the entire history of Caltrans.

“The selection of Alternative F is a testament to our commitment to providing a reliable long-term solution for Last Chance Grade,” said Caltrans District 1 Director Matt Brady. “We are grateful for the support of our community and partners, and we are confident that together, we can overcome the challenges ahead and deliver this critical project for the people of the region and the state of California.”

The decision was made in close consultation with legislators, environmental organizations, tribes, and other stakeholders in order to maximize long-term reliability. The tunnel, whose construction is projected to cost about $2.1 billion, ensures protection during seismic occurrences while preventing ongoing landslides, coastal erosion, and the effects of climate change.

Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project

Although the option has drawbacks because of the delicate environment and possible effects on large-diameter, old-growth redwood trees, Caltrans is dedicated to completing the project successfully through community support and cooperative mitigation efforts. The company will look into all possible ways to complete the project on time while putting quality, efficiency, and preservation first.

“Caltrans has diligently pursued a stakeholder-guided process with tribes, community representatives, environmental groups, agencies, and business interests to arrive at the best possible option for this landslide-plagued stretch of U.S. Highway 101,” said U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman. “These efforts have presented an option that is the safest and most reliable alternative for Last Chance Grade. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure North Coast residents get the best project they can as we move toward funding and construction.”

For decades, there has been a yearning for a solution at the Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project. After the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) were released in February, a preferred alternative was announced. These documents represented the result of in-depth scientific and engineering research.

“This bold alternative was chosen after much research and stakeholder involvement and will be the most reliable solution in the long run,” said California Assembly member Jim Wood. “I appreciate all the work that Caltrans and their many partners have done to move this crucial project along and I look forward to its eventual completion.”

“After many generations of Del Norte County citizens traversing this fabled, continuously failing section of our state highway system, we have reached the conclusion to construct a tunnel with broad agreement among regional stakeholders,” said Del Norte County Supervisor Chris Howard about the Caltrans Last Chance Grade Project. “Del Norte County is grateful to our community, tribal, environmental, and agency partners that have dedicated many years to finding a path forward.”


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