Traffic Switching to New Alignment on Highway 70 in Butte County


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


Butte County — Marking a major construction milestone, crews this weekend will switch north- and southbound motorists onto newly built traffic lanes on a 2.5-mile segment of State Route 70 south of Oroville.

Crews will start preparing for the changeover on Thursday night with the goal of moving traffic to the new mile-long segment of highway by early Saturday morning. The changeover will allow crews to start pavement work and other highway improvements on the existing lanes between Ophir Road and Palermo Road.

At the same time, crews on Saturday morning will close the east leg of Ophir Road at Highway 70 for up to 10 days to reconstruct the intersection. The west leg of Ophir will remain closed as well. Motorists should allow additional travel time and follow the designated detour route.

“The contractor has been making excellent progress. Our goal is to complete all the work and open up this five-lane section of highway to motorists by this fall,” said Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal.

The weekend work is part of a $48.6 million project to construct passing lanes and a continuous two-way left turn lane, widen the shoulders to 8 feet, upgrade drainage systems and increase the clear recovery zone area for errant vehicles to safety recover and correct direction.

Caltrans reminds motorists the speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph in the construction area as part of a statewide work zone safety initiative.

In the coming years, Caltrans and its partners in Butte and Yuba counties plan to build five other safety projects on the Highway 70 corridor between Oroville and Marysville. This week, Caltrans is starting its second safety project on the corridor – an $83 million project to replace the outdated Summerly Slough Bridge just north of Marysville.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or prolong the work. Caltrans advises motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert.” The department will issue construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.