Last Chance Grade on Route 101 in Del Norte County

Latest News:

December 2015-Stakeholder Group Consensus
Please read the white paper from the Last Chance Grade Stakeholder Group here: Stakeholder Consensus White Paper
Caltrans releases Economic Impact of US-101 Closure report in regards to Last Chance Grade. Read the report here: Last Chance Grade Economic Impact of US-101 Closure
Del Norte Local Transportation Commission has been advocating for improvements on US Highway 101 at Last Chance Grade since its inception in 1982. The documents posted on the Caltrans' project website tracks the State's more recent efforts and their conclusions leading to the situation we have today, which is essentially the same as 24 years ago when DNLTC was formed. A look to the past can provide a sense of scope and framework, and a focus on the future may one day resolve the issues.
I encourage project advocates to be informed and the information on the Caltrans District 1 page is factual and informative, and I encourage advocates to contact DNLTC with questions or concerns by mail, email or phone. If you would like to be added to my list of recipients for project updates, please send me an email.

Tamera Leighton, Executive Director
Del Norte Local Transportation Commission
1301 B Northcrest Drive, #16
Crescent City, California 95531
Desk: 707 465 3878

Additional Resources:
Caltrans project webpage
Times Standard News December 4, 2014
Press Release July 24, 2013
2006 Joint Resolution including Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, City of Crescent City, Crescent City Harbor District, Del Norte County Unified School District, Tri-Agency Economic Development Authority, Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce.

2009 Realignment Right of Way Review


June 2013 — Excavation of dirt at Last Chance Grade for the installation of retaining wall boards, and to facilitate horizontal drilling


Project Area at Last Chance Grade

Update for Last Chance Grade on Route 101 in Del Norte County

Date: July 24, 2013
District: 1 – Eureka
Contact: Scott Burger
Phone: (707) 441-3998

Eureka – Last Chance Grade south of Crescent City on Route 101 in Del Norte County has experienced one way traffic control this construction season due to a current project to strengthen and repair a retaining wall. The area is active geologically as a slide area, and Caltrans recognizes how vital this segment of highway is as a connection to the rest of California for residents of Del Norte County. Caltrans has a long history of keeping this segment of the highway open and maintained. Below is an update on the current project, and an announcement that will be good news to those looking to the future of this segment of highway.

During the current construction project at Last Chance Grade, travelers see mostly concrete barriers while traveling one way through the area, but what is not obvious is the active construction happening over the side of the cliff well below the roadway. Work includes drilling horizontally into the mountain in an effort to shore up the retaining wall there. Drilling at Last Chance Grade is estimated to be completed in October, and then following there will be work done to finish the roadway, including drainage and guardrail installation. Current project completion is estimated for late fall. Caltrans wants to remind motorists of the potentially lifesaving message, “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

A Caltrans engineered feasibility study for Last Chance Grade is currently underway. The study is a detailed investigation that considers a full range of needs, options, ideas, opportunities, and constraints. “We are excited to have an opportunity to take a closer look at this section of Route 101,” said Brad Mettam, District 1 Deputy District Director for Planning and Local Assistance. “We look forward to receiving public input and ideas as the study progresses. The Last Chance Grade corridor area has over 200 active slides according to a geological study from 2000. We are looking to discover creative solutions for this portion of highway.” Once completed, the engineered feasibility study will be used as a reference document identifying potential improvement projects, enabling Caltrans to respond to and compete for various project funding sources as they become available.