Clean California Project Beautifies, Improves Safety in Downtown Covelo


Clean California round logo. A blue sky above white clouds over green hills. Clean California.

Covelo, Calif. – Caltrans hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of a $1.5 million Clean California project to beautify downtown Covelo and improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and bikers. The project was made possible through Governor Gavin Newsom's Clean California initiative, a sweeping $1.2 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs, and engage communities to transform public areas into spaces of pride for all Californians.

The upgrades improved a nearly one mile stretch of Commercial Street (State Road 162) that serves as the main street through Covelo. This included adding traffic-calming features from west of the Town Creek Bridge to east of East Lane, such as a decorative median island and speed table humps to reduce traffic speeds.

The Mendocino County town is located adjacent to the Round Valley Indian Reservation. The project added crosswalks and solar lighting with changeable banners featuring a Yuki Basket design selected by local tribes. The tribal pattern represents the history and culture of the area and is designed to help reduce litter and discourage graffiti by adding value and a sense of community representation.

“These investments will benefit the entire community in and around Covelo by creating a safer, more reliable transportation system,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists will all benefit from this project, as we continue to improve and rebuild our infrastructure.”

To create improvements that would best reflect community needs, Caltrans partnered with the Round Valley Tribes, residents, businesses and the Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG). After receiving feedback and planning for the project, construction took one year to complete. 

“With the ongoing efforts to beautify and increase safety, we look forward to continuing to work with the community of Covelo to fine-tune these traffic calming measures that address the safety concerns for drivers and non-motorized users," said Caltrans District 1 Director Matthew Brady. “We are proud to make an investment into downtown Covelo and bring this Clean California project with pilot features to the community.”

The project is one of about 320 Clean California projects beautifying communities throughout the state.

Since launching Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans has removed an estimated 2 million cubic yards of litter from state highways – or enough to fill 634 Olympic-size swimming pools. The program has created nearly 8,700 jobs that have helped Californians overcome barriers to employment and drawn more than 10,000 volunteers to events ranging from community cleanups to large debris collections for appliances, tires, and mattresses.

For more information, visit

For downloadable video footage of past area Clean California projects, visit the District 1 YouTube page (external site). 

Decorative median on Route 162 in Covelo Decorated crosswalk in Covelo featuring Yuki basket design