Tuesday, 26 September 2023


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.

The Maxwell safety roadside rest area. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — Caltrans is alerting motorists that the north- and southbound Interstate 5 Maxwell safety roadside rest areas, or SRRA, in Colusa County have reopened.

The Maxwell rest areas had been closed the past year for upgrades to the wastewater and water systems.

Meanwhile, Caltrans is reminding motorists that the neighboring north- and southbound Willows rest areas in Glenn County will remain closed for construction through Dec. 31.

During the Willows closure, northbound I-5 motorists will be directed to use the Corning SRRA in Tehama County, about 25 miles north of the Willows Rest Area.

Southbound motorists will be directed to the Maxwell SRRA in Colusa County, about 27 miles south of the Willows Rest Area.

Caltrans is investing $13.8 million to update the wastewater and water systems at the Maxwell and Willow rest areas. TSI Engineering Inc. of North Highlands, Sacramento County, is the contractor for both projects.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or prolong the work. Caltrans advises motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert.” The department will issue construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3.

For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

The California Highway Patrol’s Northern Division, which has jurisdiction over the major transportation corridor United States 101 in Northern California, recently conducted a Major Corridor Enhanced Primary Collision Factor, or PCF, enforcement campaign.

The enhanced enforcement detail took place from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20.

During that time, CHP – Northern Division focused enforcement on the US 101 corridor in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, which includes the Ukiah, Garberville, Humboldt, and Crescent City Area offices. The Northern Division Commercial Enforcement Unit also participated in the campaign.

A total of 138 citations were issued, of which 120 were for unsafe speed.

The remaining citations were issued for distracted driving, unsafe lane changes, unsafe turning, and seatbelt violations.

The area offices also reported issuing 30 verbal or written warnings, and made three arrests, including driving under the influence, drug possession, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Although this enhanced enforcement detail has concluded on US 101, the CHP will conduct additional enhanced enforcement details along the US 101 corridor at various times and locations throughout the year.

The CHP said the public should continue to practice safe driving habits anytime they get behind the wheel.

The agency reminded motorists to follow these basic traffic safety rules: always wear a seat belt, drive at a speed safe for conditions, eliminate distractions while driving and always designate a sober driver.

Working to bolster California’s emergency response to multiple wildfires and support impacted communities, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to assist state and local wildfire response and recovery efforts in Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties.

“We are deploying every available tool we have to keep communities safe as California battles these catastrophic wildfires driven by climate change impacts,” said Newsom. “Even while the fires continue to burn, we are working to put assistance programs in place for impacted individuals to support their recovery from these devastating fires.”

This federal request is specific to the Dixie, Antelope, McFarland, Monument and River fires.

A subsequent request may be made for the Caldor and other fires once fire conditions allow state, local and federal officials to safely assess the scope of damage.

If approved, a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration will help people in the impacted counties through eligibility for programs and support that can include housing assistance, food aid, counseling, medical services and legal services.

The request includes public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs. The request also includes hazard mitigation, which helps state and local governments reduce the risks and impacts of future disasters.

Currently there are 12 major fires burning across the state, causing extensive damage to residences and infrastructure.

As of Aug. 22, 13,712 personnel and 1,031 engines are at work on the front lines of wildfires statewide.

Although wildfires are actively burning, the state and its partners are working quickly to provide California communities the resources they need to get back home as soon as it is safe to do so.

The state is already removing household hazardous waste due to fires in multiple counties, the first stage of returning damaged properties to their owners.

There are also teams on the ground conducting damage assessments documenting the extent of the losses so that the state can maximize its requests for federal aid.

In addition, the state provided millions of dollars in California Disaster Assistance Act Public Assistance advance funding to Plumas and Alpine counties. This advance funding provides financial assistance from the state for costs incurred by local governments because of a disaster event — due to the magnitude of the damage sustained in Plumas County due to the Dixie fire and in Alpine County from the Tamarack Fire.

California recently secured Fire Management Assistance Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the state’s response to the Dixie fire in Lassen, Butte and Plumas counties and the response to the Caldor, Monument, River and Lava fires.

Gov. Newsom has activated the State Operations Center to its highest level and proclaimed a state of emergency in counties impacted by the Caldor fire, McFarland and Monument fires, Antelope and River fires, Dixie, Fly and Tamarack fires and the Lava Fire and Beckwourth Complex fire.

The governor signed an executive order to support impacted communities and bolster wildfire response and recovery efforts.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — On Tuesday, Aug. 24, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will conduct a special meeting regarding the critical water shortage emergency in the town of Mendocino.

Water experts will be present to speak with the board about the extreme water shortage in the 5th District heightened by this severe, historic drought.

The agenda will feature discussion and possible action including direction to staff to allocate budget for drought assistance and other immediate funding opportunities.

Ted Williams, Fifth District supervisor and vice-chair, wants to reiterate “Shit is getting real” in the town of Mendocino. Water is scarce and citizens are scrambling for solutions.

“It’s at times like this that we need to come together as a community to solve critical problems,” added Glenn McGourty, First District supervisor.

The Special Board meeting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Meetings are livestreamed and available for viewing online on the Mendocino County YouTube page, at https://www.youtube.com/mendocinocountyvideo or by toll-free, telephonic livestream at 888-544-8306.

For a complete list of the latest available options by which to engage with agenda items, please visit https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/board-of-supervisors/public-engagement.

For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at 707-463-4441.

Upcoming Calendar

09.26.2023 9:00 am - 2:30 pm
Board of Supervisors
09.26.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
09.27.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Town hall on homelessness
09.28.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
09.30.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
10.05.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
10.06.2023 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
David Arkenstone & Friends in concert
10.07.2023 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship Breast Cancer Run & Walk
10.07.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

Mini Calendar



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