Current and pending state highway improvement projects slated for Trinity County this summer are not expected to produce major impacts to motorists, though they are advised to expect 15- to 20- minute delays for a Highway 299 project at Whiskeytown Lake affecting the commute between Trinity and Shasta counties. 

Caltrans District 2 Project Manager Clint Burkenpas detailed the scheduled road work for the Trinity County Board of Supervisors in Weaverville last week.

He noted the past winter was “pretty tough in Trinity County,” causing several roadway slides and slip-outs. Four repair projects are currently under way with the expectation of being wrapped up by early summer. They include removing material and slope stabilization at two large slides onto Highway 299 called the Heleslide and the Power Slide in the Downriver area. Highway 36 also took some weather damage including a slide near Forest Glen and a slip-out of material from beneath the roadway at Dubakella Mountain.

Other projects slated for construction this season in Trinity County are curve improvement on Highway 36 at Ditch Gulch to increase the travel radius and improve winter icing conditions; culvert rehabilitation on Highway 3 at certain locations north of Hayfork; constructing paved chain control areas at several locations on Highway 3 and 299 to improve Caltrans worker safety and installation of some changeable message signs to alert motorists of various issues as they arise.

On the Shasta County side of Buckhorn Summit, repairs of winter slides on Highway 299 have nearly been completed and most of the Carr fire restoration/drainage work is also finished with the one exception of the Dry Whiskey project adjacent to Whiskeytown Lake that is 11 miles long and producing one-way traffic control with 15 to 20-minute delays. It will include grinding and paving and is not expected to be finished until the end of summer.

Burkenpas noted that work will be suspended around the holidays including July 4th and Labor Day. Otherwise, work is generally concluded by 3 p.m. on Fridays and not resumed until Monday mornings.

Regarding future projects, Burkenpas said there are two being planned in Trinity County over the next two years: the installation of a left turn lane north of Weaverville on Highway 3 at Tom Bell Road near the airport; and a left turn lane for eastbound traffic on Highway 299 at Denny Road. Trinity County is partnering with Caltrans on both projects, sharing in costs.

The project at Tom Bell Road is happening in conjunction with the county’s development of a new jail at that location and is currently moving into final design. The road work is slated for construction next summer and will include an extension of a two-way left turn lane between Tom Bell and Lance Gulch Road. The county is contributing $700,000 from its State Transportation Improvement Program funds and Caltrans will cover the remainder of $1.3 million.

The left turn lane onto Denny Road is slated for construction a year later in the 2020/21 construction season with Trinity County contributing $800,000 from SB 1 state gas tax revenues and Caltrans providing about $1.4 million.

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