Last Chance Grade: A Failure Could Cost $130 M Annually, Says Caltrans
Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today announced the formation of a stakeholder group meant to address the landslide-prone stretch of highway south of Crescent City known as Last Chance Grade. Agencies, tribes, environmental and business organizations will participate in series of facilitated discussions to explore options to reroute or stabilize the highway.
“A major failure at Last Chance Grade not only poses a serious safety risk but threatens the regional economy,” Huffman said. “This group will look closely at what type of project is appropriate to fix this ongoing problem while addressing the significant tribal and environmental issues likely to accompany any project.”
“Bringing stakeholders together and working collaboratively is the foundation for solving problems and developing long term solutions,” California Assemblyman Jim Wood said. “I applaud Congressman Huffman’s initiative and I am excited to get to work.”
A Caltrans study found a massive failure at Last Chance Grade could cost the region $130 million annually, and disrupt emergency transportation, commerce and travel.
“The issues regarding a permanent fix for Last Chance Grade have been at the forefront of our communities for years,” Del Norte County Supervisor David Finigan said. “I am grateful for Congressman Huffman’s leadership to bring together all of the interest groups to solve this problem for the safety of our communities and of our economy.”
Facilitating the discussions will be Joy Keller-Weidman of Holon Consulting. Keller-Weidman has extensive experience in facilitating major state, federal and tribal infrastructure projects in Arizona, New Mexico and California. The group will meet at least 10 times over the next year.
The Del Norte Local Transportation Commission has provided funds to start the group, with initial commitments for funding from other parties, including Save-the-Redwoods League and Del Norte County.
Photo from Caltrans.