ALERT: Retaining Wall on Last Chance Grade Failing

Last chance Caltrans

The beginning from the south of Last Chance Grade. [Photo from Caltrans]

Caltrans issued a Traffic Alert at 10:30 p.m.:

U.S. Highway 101 about a half mile north of Rudisill Road (Last Chance Grade) is experiencing the failure of a retaining wall. This is at the location where 24/7 one-way traffic control with a temporary signal has already been in effect.

The highway lost another 10′ of width and is down to 18′ for the one lane of traffic. Caltrans staff believe the highway is still safe and the highway remains open at this time. Staff will remain onsite 24/7 to monitor the highway to ensure public safety.

We will provide updates as needed until repairs have been completed.

UPDATE 9:33 a.m. Tuesday:

Senator McGuire tweeted:



  • Laytonville Rock


  • Oh, boy. Almost time to decide which side to be on . . .

    • Yes neighbor, you are right. Our infrastructure, and our highway system is crumbling and become unusable. It was predicted.

      Being an old guy, I remember when Jerry Brown and Adriana Gianturco abolished the California Division of Highways and formed “Caltrans”, The super cool sounding name that took highway money and made it into “transportation” money. They then used the money to build a mass transit systems. San Francisco loved Jerry and the Bay Area Rapid Transit system that some of the money went to.

      Pat Brown, Jerry brown’s dad was one of the greatest builders of infrastructure in California history. In a childish rebellion, Jerry shut down Daddy’s plan to build a 101 freeway all the way to the Oregon border. Jerry’s poorly thought out plan cost California Billions (with a capital B) of dollars in matching federal highway funding.

      The lost of funding was demoralizing to the builders of the highway systems and they have not only stopped building highways, but they are less than inspired to even maintain them.

      Last Chance Grade should have been named “Jerry’s Fault”. My environmentalist friends will say that highways are evil, but they keep having babies that grow up and want to tour the coastline. It looks like like they will be kayaking to Crescent City in the near future.

      Oh, I almost forgot. Your Last Chance Grade repair money is now going to build a Bullet Train from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I guess Jerry figures that’s a greater good.

      • Well said!

      • In Switzerland they drill horizontal holes deeply into the mountain bedrock, then they set huge anchor bolts into the bedrock. The anchor bolts hold a retaining wall to the side of the mountain. I wonder if there is any bedrock behind the slide that would be suitable to bolt to.

        • Trouble is that in the melange inside that hill there is no bedrock to drill into.

        • I sure wouldn’t want to be the crane operator on that job site . With the weight of the machine the whole thing could go!!

        • Swiss have a brain. Society there eatd organic and doesnt get injected with mercury vaccines.
          They are therefore a lot smarter, and cognitive function is way higher. They think Californians are complete ignorants for letting caltrans and the corrupt bunch build us cheap like this

        • The ground Last Chance is on is Blue clay, among other things. No sturdy bedrock to drill into. Shale rock that breaks, lots of springs that keep things soggy. Ocean at the bottom pounding away.. When a bad storm hits, and the ocean is rough, you can feel the waves hit the shore. The vibrations help with the slippage.

      • Ernie for Governor of California !
        that bullet train ruined home values in San Rafael and is a stupid idea…now they have to bus people from the train station because it doesn’t really go anywhere. You can’t leave California cut into pieces because the freeways are falling apart.

        • That was SMART rail, not the bullet train. But same misguided policy is behind it. Developers in Sonoma county want a new selling point for their cookie cutter neighborhoods slowly consuming the hillsides, and fixing 101 is apparently a decades long impossible task thanks to California’s “lowest bidder automatically gets the job” laws.

          Should have just brought BART over the underdeck of the Golden Gate (which is completely feasible and has been discussed several times) and connected the north bay to the rest of the transit system. But I suppose Marin’s progressive policies come to a screeching halt when they involve making it easier for “others” to come in…

      • Nail on the head!

      • Thanks for the history lesson Ernie! Learn something new everyday…

      • thank you for summing it up.

      • Very well said, Ernie!
        It’s a well oiled machine the state govt runs. Raise taxes for a solution, spend it elsewhere, rinse, repeat, 10 or 20 years later when old voters have given up & the new hopefuls flood the voting booths.

      • Veterans friend

        Caltrans, or some version thereof, has had 50 years to plan…and has done NOTHING. There is no alternate route mapped…not a thing but patching has been done. CALTRANS is a money gobbling joke. Why the Willets bypass…a waste of money that could have been invested on this project. The liss of LCG will devestate Crescent City.

        • I agree with you on the Willets bypass that was the stupidest idea.
          As far as Cal Trans they are doing the best they can with not enough personnel and not enough funding to do all that needs to be done.!
          You can thank useless Jerry Brown who never should have been re elected after his first two terms. There should be a law that no more then two terms as governor and no running for Senate or Congress after having served 2 terms period as Govenor.
          Last we need to divide California into two states and make southern CA from
          San Francisco down to Mexico border.

      • The reality of this situation is due to the way people operate…we don’t stop or fix things until they are completely broken. We don’t put in a stop sign until we have a bad wreck, we don’t want health care until we become really sick, we don’t stop being alcoholics until we lose everything, we don’t think about climate change and polluted water or air until we have cancer or can’t breathe, and it’s the same with last chance grade. I have lived in klamath for 40 years and the road is always in disrepair. It is built upon an unstable rock formation that is not solid. It is going to fail. We’ve all known it. It is just a matter of time. I will miss days of work, students will miss days of school, a lot of people will be inconvienced, and perhaps they will punch a road around the other side of the mountain quickly. There will be a big environmental outcry, but they will get over. Mother nature wins again, quit blaming.

      • You are so right on, Ernie! Sad truth!

      • what was it, 25.3 billion dollars the yearly cost of supporting illegal immigrants in California? just saying…..priorities….choices….decisions….. “Twenty-five billion dollars a year in costs associated with illegal immigration represents a fiscal crisis that affects California’s ability to meet its basic obligations to citizens and legal residents,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR

      • You don’t like Governor “Moonbeam”? He has less brains than a gnat. This so-called Bullet Train to L.A. is one of the biggest wastes of money to ever hit California. Our next governor will be just as bad, if not worse than Brown. That will be Gavin Newsome.

      • Very well said. They robbed Peter to pay Paul, and now Peter is in trouble.

  • Time to get rid of all the heavy ass cement blocks on the side of the road and time to park the big rig tractors somewhere besides where the damn road is cracking!!

  • Global warming is fake news and sure abolish the EPA while your at it.
    (Sarcasam sign)

    My question is if the road completely goes…will they make a tunnel or just blast threw that hill to make a new road?

    • No the plans call for going around the hill but there are like 5 diff routes and they haven’t decided on one yet.

      • Veterans friend

        Yeah…they have had only 50 years to plan. They were thinking “hmmm lets cut down redwoods in sohum & build a road around Willets to destroy all the businesses there”

    • Rising tides huh?….. (Super sarcastic shart) Think the water is rollin in… Or fallin down? Time for TNT!

      • And honestly, at least get your talking points correct… Its climate change…. Remember global warming has been debunked by the ultraleft.? Just in case things cool down globally (like snow in March) climate change will always stay true. With all the solar we gots,…. Dang, shouldnt we be prayin fer global warming? We can just absorb all that radiant heat, and put it into mechanical cooling devices, with no consequence of a positive delta of heat absorbed in the planet. If you believe in global warming, smash your solar panels and paint yer roof white.

    • Threw. 😂😂😂

  • It time to STOP Trucks from using the Hyw101 for a long while

    • And how exactly do you expect all of your daily needs be met when the stores all empty in a matter of days? You think carrier pigeons can handle that? Just about everything you use on a daily basis was brought here by a truck. Like them or not, trucks are necessary for life as we know it today.

      • Giant Drones will take over where trucks used to go!!! Then there’s the story of Cinderella which is an excellent fairy tale also!!!

      • Yeah I drove trucks on 101 for 30 years the trucks are not the problem mother nature is and putting a road on the side of a cliff.

    • What and take more jobs from the truckers that use 101 because it is the only
      Highway directly on the coast

  • Back in 1970 the road was to be re routed up over the mtn but some do gooders decided that would kill the redwoods then the gov took the money for bart end of story. Its never ending
    I could go on about lives lost over the cliff when portions have gave out but I wont. Look it up
    I was born n raised in Cc and know the road well and had to make a trip south 2 weeks ago and was shocked to see the condition and have warned people its Not Safe!! I do not plan to travel it again Be safe

  • Being born in Crescent City in 1963, traveling back and forth to Eureka, moved to Eureka in 1984, I have watched this road slide out. Theres ALOT of water in the hill-side all year round. IF they had gone ahead with a plan they thought about in the 1970’s–Bypass this section, by going up Wilson Creek and coming out at Mill Creek–It would have saved us CA residents millions of dollars, to fix the bad section over and over again!!! There is logging roads up there most people dont know about that would have and still would work. But some paper-pusher, desk-sitting person in Washington DC who has never been out in the field made these choices years ago, now look where we are at. Global warming/climate change have 0% bearing on whats happening to this grade on HWY 101. It would have been so much cheaper in the long run, to run the HWY between the creeks years ago. Now with all the permits etc it will cost a fortune Good luck to all of us that have to drive on this section Stay safe

    • I’m tracking you Laurie. It is California State politics that keeps the infrastructure on the back burner. Gov. Moonbeam just has to have his high speed rail but other governors have also looked the other way on these projects that don’t have any effect on the population centers (where the democrats tend to accumulate). Little Del Norte has nothing ,except water, to offer the massive voting base of these metropolitan cities. By the way, climate change has always happened. It would happen whether mankind was here or not. Mother nature is going to get her way. As mankind adjusts to her, she too makes adjustments. This has been going on since we arrived on scene.

  • Yes I agree this may be a big problem. I’ve heard that cal trans is very worried about the long term (or short term) viability of this section of road. Re-routing really is the only option and it’s a very big job. It could shut down this section of 101 for years, in a worst case scenario. 299 hasn’t been very nice lately either… Humboldt Island!

  • WOW! Not good. 18′ is not wide for a road, especially one that is slipping into the ocean. The rain isn’t letting up anytime soon. What am impact his will have when it closes.

  • Trump forget about the wall and build the Bypass.

    • good one !
      we need a bypass from south end of Eureka to McK too! straight across the bay ! It could be a beautiful drive instead of driving thru heroin addicts in Eka.

    • A multi-billion dollar infrastructure bill to repair exactly these sorts of problems was literally a core component of his campaign… Maybe you should write a letter to our representative asking him to stop screaming at conservatives long enough to work with them on this actually important project.

  • With all the money they’ve dumped into this section of roadway over decades that was, and is doomed to keep failing, they could have built the bypass and paved it with gold and been money ahead. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but still.

  • That sounds like a great idea! If we promised a gold plated freeway Trump would build it for us!

  • It’s time for a bridge!!

  • Yes, I have been watching this happen everyday, and all the blacktop they keep patching it up with adds additional weight. I always almost come to a stop and look before I crossover on my way to work.
    They are putting the Cal Trans workers in such danger by having to be up there everyday.

  • With the state $200 billion in the Red according to the auditors. The state is just waiting for it to go into the ocean. Then they will get Federal Disaster Funds for a bypass.

  • The Project to replace/bypass Last Chance Grade:

  • Does anyone know what actions have been undertaken by the voters of Humboldt to address transportation needs since the changes made by the governor 50 years ago? Everyone I talk to recognizes that the area is geologically unstable and that road maintenance costs far outweigh the extremely tiny export economy here.

    How do we justify huge highway costs when there is no economic incentive to spend that kind of money?

  • looks like the Last Chance has run out.

  • Hover cars, helicopter ferries, mule team rides, motor boat ferries, hiking trails, where there’s a will, there’s a way, with or without decent representation in the area.
    Did you know that the 1st amendment also includes protesting taxes? We have the right to protest with our wallets. That’s one of the things the house of reps doesn’t want you to figure out, so they constantly deflect all woes to the President and to the people.
    Hold your HOR’s accountable!

    • I’m worried that the tax revenue collected form Humboldt County is too small for any protest involving the threat of withholding to have any effect. While it would be nice, don’t you think our elected officials will just blow us off when they realize just how much money must be spent to support transportation infrastructure in Humboldt?

  • I have traveled LCG since 1948 they were paving it then. Must be 100 ft of pavement or more sitting on that cliff.
    Might be a blessing in disguise. It will keep those frigging liberals out of Del Norte. Jk. Not.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Karma for removing the hostel…

    If anything, dope growers are to blame, if devil’s lettuce wasn’t sent over the road it would be fine.

    Deport dope growers after they labor to complete the wall.

    Something in the sweat of dope growers breaks down concrete.

    They are rural dindus and disrupt raising children in a safe environment.

    • The Swiss have a brain.
      They think California supervisors are complete morons.
      The Dutch think so as well. They are world champions of dealing with floods and levees.
      And seriously wonder how on earth the taxpayers don’t demand their money spent right.
      Caltrans is a joke and so are most building codes which are all bare minimum to make any structure stand.
      Wake up, what are they really doing with our money? [edit]

  • They have been fixing it since I was a they do all the wrong fixes. Just should have fixed it right many years ago. Wasting money should be a crime!!! 😝

  • Again caltrans and their ingeneers are a complete joke. They should fix it free of charge.
    Brown should be fired as well.

    • Your points addressed in your comments, and those of many of the others making comments, do indeed have merit. Governor Brown has been on an unsustainable spending drive his entire career. When he shook my hand at my graduation in 1978 his dream was sending people in to space, quite a lofty goal for a state governor. His more recent actions, including high speed rail, and using transportation money intended for highways to fund them, are true. Lets don’t forget the tunnel to channel water from the north to the south. Also the 30 billion dollar bond measure put forth a few years back to the voters to improve schools, which was then used to pay off his (CA’s) debt. If you really want to get worked up, take a look at this article;

      or here;

      It wasn’t just the urban voters who have kept voting him back in to office. Three quarters of Humboldt County voters did the same. Now, Gaven Newsome looks to be the newly appointed king for CA, when he takes over.

      Will the voters ever change? Not likely. [edit] Just look here to find out where your money has been going;


      P.S. My friends in the gay community have mostly died (aids/hiv). Over thirty in 1982/1983. They died because no one in public office at the time cared. Not liberals, certainly not conservatives. Maybe we, as a society, are just getting payback. No more melting pot. No tolerance of others whatsoever. Its the “my way or the highway” attitude. Perhaps its time to learn about Quan Yin, goddess of mercy and compassion, before its too late.

  • DEMOCRATS, again selfish and no give attitude. And to think i am a registered One! They are Hippie Dreamers . I am refering to those in office.. The little guy trusts in them.

  • 299 &101 both are in the same condition. Oh yes we have Caltrans, Caltrop and how many other off shoots? Let’s just keep shoveling out the bucks, after all you know the government is broke.

  • Could be anything

    I Ihave to drive north next week. Not looking forward to that stretch in the least. That spot always makes me nervous. Especially if I have to stop right here.

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