"The report, prepared by the Division of Transportation Planning of
the California Department of Transportation, is a portion of a greater
feasibility study which looks at the practicability of rerouting an
oceanside section of U.S. Highway 101 just south of Crescent City that
is susceptible to landslides and erosion and replacing it with a more
geologically stable route farther inland.
Without an alternate route in place, if both lanes of Highway 101
were to be wiped out it would mean a 320-mile detour via U.S. Highway
199, Interstate 5 and State Route 299, estimated at an additional seven
hours of travel time, according to the report.
This closure is
calculated to cost Del Norte County’s economy approximately $300 million
to $400 million and 3,000 to 4,000 jobs, according to the report. The
travel costs of the detour are expected to be an annual $450,000.
costs of putting in a bypass are from $250 million to $1.07 billion,
and if the Last Chance Grade was knocked out beyond repair tomorrow it
would take about three years before a bypass was in place, making the
costs to the economy potentially higher than the project itself,
according to the report."The entire state of California would suffer economic losses if this portion of road is closed with no detour. Tourists from the north travel the coast of California for destinations like Los Angeles and San Diego. Public works cannot risk having this portion of road shut down without a reasonable alternative. Look for this project to receive fast track treatment over the next few years. With environmental studies not yet undertaken constructing the detour will take at least a decade.
In : Development