Sunday, 28 November 2021

Construction starts on major Butte County highway project

Highway 70 in Butte County, California. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. — In a major milestone, Caltrans is beginning construction this week on a safety and passing lanes project on State Highway 70 in southern Butte County.

On Monday, crews began placing temporary concrete barriers, or K-rail, along a four-mile stretch of roadway from East Gridley Road to the Honcut Creek bridge.

Caltrans and the Butte County Association of Governments, or BCAG, are partnering on this $50 million project to create continuous passing lanes with a two-way left-turn lane and build a new bridge over Honcut Creek.

Other improvements include widening the shoulders to 8 feet, upgrading drainage systems and establishing an area for vehicles veering off the roadway to return to the main highway.

The work represents the last of three Butte County projects to improve safety on the Highway 70 corridor between Oroville and the Butte-Yuba County line.

A second safety and passing project between Palermo Road and Cox Lane is currently under construction and expects to be completed this fall. An earlier safety improvement project from Ophir Road to Palermo opened to traffic in fall 2019.

“It took a lot of hard work by our partners and Caltrans to get to this stage. We’re excited to begin construction on this segment,” said Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal. “After this important safety project is completed, motorists will have continuous passing opportunities from Oroville to the Butte-Yuba County line.”

About 17,000 vehicles and approximately 900 trucks per day use this segment of Highway 70 on average.

“Butte County and Caltrans have spent more than three decades working to provide safe, reliable four-lane access on the Highway 70 corridor. It’s vital that we modernize this highway for the safety of motorists and residents as well as the regional economy,” said Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly, who also serves on the BCAG board.

Teichert Construction of Sacramento and MCM Construction of North Highlands are the contractors on the project.

Over the next two years, motorists may expect intermittent traffic-interfering and occasional overnight roadwork. The contractor will maintain driveway access to the highway for businesses and residents.

As part of a Caltrans work zone safety initiative, the speed limit has been reduced from 55 to 45 mph in the construction zone. Radar speed feedback trailers are in place along the highway to remind motorists of the reduced driving speed.

Caltrans District 3 maintains more than 4,385 lanes miles of state highway in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. The department issues updates about road conditions on Twitter and on Facebook.

For real-time traffic information, go to http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the free Caltrans QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

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