Elk Valley Cross Road


In response to concerns expressed by elected officials and the public, the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission is studying a potential need for improvement along Elk Valley Cross Road, which provides access to homes, businesses, and schools, and connects Highways 101, 199, Lake Earl Drive and Elk Valley Road. The Elk Valley Cross Road Corridor Plan scope of work was developed by the County of Del Norte and DNLTC, whose staff will be working in conjunction with the local community to assess the traffic hazards, conditions and needs of Elk Valley Cross Road. The Corridor Plan will study Elk Valley Cross Road between State Route 199 and Lake Earl Drive. A thorough study of the corridor and public input will provide necessary information for future decisions.

Residents and community members most affected by this transportation corridor are invited to submit their experience, observations and opinions to the DNLTC. These areas are indicated in the map above, showing affected parcels and areas along the corridor, as well as traffic counts at intersections. This vital feedback allows the engineers to better understand the existing problems and recommend solutions for corridor use and improvement if warranted.

For a larger view of the map above, use this link: Map of Affected Parcels and Traffic Counts

The first Public Workshop was held on June 26, 2019. The figures below show the Elk Valley Cross Road Corridor Plan progress in the overall project timeline.


If you were unable to attend Public Workshop #1, or have any additional input, you can submit your experience, observations and opinions to the DNLTC online. Traffic, accidents, hazards, pedestrian and bicycle traffic and current conditions can all be reported easily using the link below:

Or contact the DNLTC directly at: or (707) 465-3878

last chance grade on route 101

The Feasibility Study begun in March 2014 initiated a process that involved scientific and economic analyses to assess the current conditions and develop possible alternatives. The project also included a comprehensive outreach program and public meetings to inform and engage interested parties and provide opportunities for valuable input.

Identifying, planning and constructing an alternative route at Last Chance Grade is a complex and lengthy process. Along with securing stakeholder and community agreement along the way, Caltrans will need to conduct a variety of studies and analyses to support decision making throughout the process.

Here’s a potential timeline that shows the sequence and timing of key project milestones. In the event of a large scale roadway failure at Last Chance Grade the project will become an “emergency project” with an accelerated schedule. The project phases including design, environmental documents, and construction will overlap in order to complete the project and have the road open to the public in 2-8 years.


  • Community workshops (Jan)

  • Stakeholder Group process (May)

  • Final Feasibility Study completed (June)


  • Project Study Report refined

  • Potential Funding Sources identified

  • Permitting process for geotechnical studies initiated


  • Project Approval and Environmental Document process initiated (8 years). The process includes:

    • Ground surveys

    • Botanical studies (2 years)

    • Geotechnical studies

    • Wetland delineations

    • US Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Assessment and Biological Opinion

    • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Assessment and Biological Opinion

    • Traffic studies

    • Other studies and analysis

    • CEQA/NEPA Public Workshops and Comment period


  • Design and Permitting Phase


  • Construction begins (5-8 years)


  • Alternative route open for the public

December 2015-Stakeholder Group Consensus

Caltrans releases Economic Impact of US-101 Closure report in regards to Last Chance Grade. 

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.

Final Value Analysis Study Report - October 2018

Last Chance Grade - Economic Impact of US-101 Closure - May 2018

Expert-Based Geotechnical Risk Assessment - June 2018



Take our survey to submit your input and priority needs regarding the Del Norte County transportation network:

Front Street

The City of Crescent City has plans to improve Front Street, including new monument signing, a roundabout, diagonal parking, an archway, a landscaped median, level sidewalks with street trees, and informational signs. The $4 million project will not only improve the roadway surface and traffic circulation, but improve the walkability and bring economic activity to the waterfront area. The project has a portion of the funding available through local transportation funds and will be seeking the rest through competitive statewide and federal grants.

To learn more about the Front Street project and to submit your comments and observations, attend the upcoming public meeting on Thursday, June 6 at 12:00 pm at the Cultural Center.

Meeting Flyer for Build Grant Application.png

Highway 197/199 Goods movement project

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has proposed safety improvements to Routes 197 and 199 in Del Norte County. This series of projects includes adjustments to Route 197 near Ruby Van Deventer County Park (Ruby 1 and Ruby 2) and on Route 199 near the Narrows, at Washington Curve, and in the Patrick Creek area.

For more information, visit these sites:

197/199 Safe Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) Access Project News (regularly updated Caltrans blog for this project)
Caltrans District 1 – 197/199 Safe Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) Access

US Highway 101 Traffic Calming and Gateway Project

US Highway 101 is the primary arterial highway serving the Northern California and Oregon coasts, and as such is a key element in the national and statewide highway network. Drivers
approaching Crescent City from the south on US Highway 101 travel approximately 70 miles from the nearest significant urbanized area (Arcata/McKinleyville), while drivers approaching
from the north travel approximately 25 miles from Brookings (via US Highway 101) or 80 miles from Grants Pass (via US 199). As a result, there is a tendency for drivers arriving in Crescent
City to be acclimated to traveling at relatively high speed with little need to be aware of conflicting traffic, pedestrian, and bicyclist movements.

A number of projects have been identified to help improve driver, bicycle and pedestrian safety as well as provide visual cues to travelers that they are entering a community. Two main planning processes have been completed for this project, including the US Highway 101 Traffic Calming and Gateway Study in 2010 and the US 101 Crescent City Gateway Traffic Calming Project Project Study Report in late 2012. The Study document can be accessed by clicking the link below.

US Highway 101 Traffic Calming and Gateway Study