Caltrans Marks Start of Major Safety Project in Butte County


SB 1 Rebuilding California

District: District 3 - Marysville
Contact: Gilbert Mohtes-Chan
Phone: (530) 741-4571

Butte County — In a major milestone, Caltrans and its partners today celebrated the start of a crucial safety project on a two-mile stretch State Highway 70 south of Oroville.

Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal was joined by state, county and local officials in hailing the upcoming work to widen Highway 70 from Ophir Road to Palermo Road.

Caltrans and the Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG) are partnering in this $48.6 million project, which represents the construction of the first of six safety projects in the coming years for the Highway 70 corridor between Oroville and Marysville. This project is made possible due to funds from SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

More than 17,000 vehicles and approximately 900 trucks per day use this segment of SR-70 on average, and with the addition of the Camp Fire debris hauling operation, truck traffic has increased by 1,000 per day.

“Safety is Caltrans’ top priority. This project will improve safety along the Highway 70 corridor by providing continuous passing opportunities for vehicles traveling between Ophir Road and Palermo Road. It took a lot of hard work by our partners and Caltrans to get this project off the ground,” said Benipal.

“Highway 70 is an important artery and economic link between Butte County and the Sacramento area. It is vital that we widen this highway for the safety of motorists and residents,” said Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly, who also serves as BCAG chairperson.

As part of a Caltrans work zone safety initiative, the speed limit has been reduced from 55 to 45 mph in the construction zone. Radar speed feedback trailers are in place along the highway to remind motorists about the driving speed.

Teichert Construction of Sacramento is the contractor on the project, which will create a continuous two-way left turn lane, widen the shoulders to 8 feet, upgrade drainage systems and establish an area for vehicles veering off the roadway to return to the main highway.

The project is made possible due to funds from SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

Caltrans District 3 maintains more than 4,385 lanes miles of state highway in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. The department issues updates about road conditions on Twitter and on Facebook. For real-time traffic information, go to QuickMap or download the free Caltrans QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.