[UPDATE: Wednesday] Hwy 299 Closed Due to Rock Slide
Hwy 299 (which runs east from Hwy 101 north of Arcata to Redding) is closed 4.5 miles west of Big Bar in Trinity County. A rock slide has crossed the road at Big French Creek. Caltrans is advising motorists to use an alternate route.
According to the California Highway Patrol Incident page, “The material that came down created a substantial hole in the roadway. [Hwy 299 at Big French Creek] will be closed til at least 0800 [today] at earliest.”
UPDATE 8:08 a.m.: According to a notation on the California Highway Patrol Incident page, There are large cracks in the mountain above the road and large chunks of debris rolling down. Caltrans is reporting there don’t yet have an estimate of how long it will take to reopen the road. Depending on where you are going there are different workarounds. Hwy 36 which crosses east just south of Fortuna is good for cars and pickups with drivers that are used to very rural roads. (This road is not for the faint-hearted.) Hwy 96 might work for those headed north of Redding. Take 299 and then 96 at Willow Creek. (Again, this road is rural and not for those used to freeway driving.) Other options include going north on Hwy 101 and crossing over on Hwy 199 north of Crescent City or heading south on 101 and crossing over on Hwy 20 north of Ukiah.
UPDATE 8:24 a.m.: Caltrans updated their Facebook post to read, “Crews are working to clear the debris from the road and will try to reopen the highway to controlled traffic by this afternoon. As with all slides, this may change as the situation develops.”
UPDATE 8:34 a.m.: According to Myles Cochrane of Caltrans, “1 p.m. is the estimated time of reopening for now.”
UPDATE 9 a.m.: Caltrans now says on their Facebook page, “RT 299 in Trinity CO near Big French Creek will likely remain closed until tomorrow, Wed.”
UPDATE 9:08 a.m.: Caltrans reports, “Route 299 is expected to remain CLOSED on Tuesday, 11/15. Approximately ten thousand cubic yards of debris are currently in the roadway. There is currently no estimated time to reopening.”
UPDATE Wednesday: 299 to Remain Closed Today, Says Caltrans