Caltrans Completes Major Highway 70 Project in Butte County


California State Route 70

District:  District 3 - Marysville
Contact:  Gilbert Mohtes-Chan
Phone:  (530) 682-6145



BUTTE COUNTY — Caltrans announced today completion of a safety project on Highway 70 in Butte County. The $42 million project includes new passing lanes and other safety improvements on a three-mile stretch of the highway between Palermo Road and Cox Lane that in the past decade has seen a high number of collisions and fatalities.

Caltrans and the Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG) partnered in financing the project, which is the third safety project on the Highway 70 corridor between Oroville and Marysville in last two years. Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal joined state and local officials in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the safety improvements.

“Safety is Caltrans’ top priority. This latest project provides improved passing opportunities for vehicles traveling between Ophir Road and East Gridley Road which makes this stretch of road much less hazardous,” said Benipal. “I applaud our Caltrans construction team and Knife River Construction for completing the work on time.”

In addition to the new passing lanes, the project created a continuous two-way left turn lane, widened the shoulders to eight feet, upgraded drainage systems, and established an area for vehicles veering off the roadway to return to the main highway. More than 17,000 vehicles and approximately 900 trucks per day use this segment of Highway 70.

“Highway 70 is an important artery and economic link between Butte County and the Sacramento area, so it was vital to widen this highway for the safety of motorists and residents,” said Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly, who also serves as BCAG chairperson. “Because we began work this summer to build a new bridge and extend the passing lanes from East Gridley Road to the Butte-Yuba county line, we’re well on our way of connecting the region’s urbanized areas with a continuous four-lane highway system.”

Earlier this summer, Caltrans completed work to replace the aging Simmerly Slough Bridge with a new structure north of Marysville, and in fall 2019, officials marked completion of new safety improvements and passing lanes from Ophir Road to Palermo Road. 

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