Oroville — Caltrans and the city of Oroville hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 30 to celebrate the completion of a $3.2 million project that will bring safety improvements and artistic elements to State Route 70 (SR-70) near the Montgomery Street and State Route 162 (SR-162) interchanges in Oroville.
The improvements are part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California initiative, a sweeping $1.2 billion clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, beautify public spaces and create thousands of jobs across the state.
“Clean California works to transform our public spaces, beautify our state, and improve the safety of our transportation network,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “We are delighted to work with the City of Oroville to create these beautiful landmarks and continue the city’s tradition of recognizing important public art.”
This project includes the creation of dry creek beds and rock outcroppings along the roadsides, as well as new decorative slope paving and fencing marking the interchange. The new fencing and landscaping will create additional safety barriers between
sidewalks and vehicle access points to SR-70, and new curbs and slope paving will improve drainage inside underpasses during rainstorms.
-more-Additionally, the project incorporates artistic elements installed on the existing piers under the SR-162 interchange. These transportation art pieces were facilitated by local artists from the Rainforest Art Collective of Chico and designed by area high school students who joined together to celebrate the wildlife of the region.
Oroville has a rich and complex history and is known for its public art, murals, and museums throughout downtown. The SR-70 interchanges will serve as critical links in a vibrant art corridor that begins at the city’s Entry Arch and continues throughout the Feather River Art Wall on Table Mountain Boulevard.
We are excited to see and share the expression of Oroville youth in permanent art projects that provide tremendous public pride and positive quality of life,” said Oroville Mayor David Pittman.
“Caltrans fully appreciates the effort the city of Oroville made to reach out to local artists and organizations for this project,” added Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet Benipal. “These installations contribute greatly to the aesthetics of the corridor.”
“The Clean California initiative has provided a rare and marvelous opportunity for local Oroville youth to participate in the creation of beautiful and lasting public art. These installations will make a wonderful impression when entering and leaving Oroville, and the artists at the Rainforest Art Project are thrilled to be a part of this transformation,” said Dan Evers, CEO of the Rainforest Art Project.
Construction began in April and was the first of two Clean California beautification projects on the state highway system in Butte County to be completed. The second project is currently under construction and will provide similar improvements to the 20th Street and Skyway interchanges along State Route 99 in Chico.
The Oroville project is among 126 Clean California beautification projects worth $312 million designed to help energize communities and create connectivity along the state highway system. There are an additional 105 projects statewide funded by nearly $300 million in Clean California local grants to remove litter and transform public spaces in underserved communities. Building on Clean California’s success, Governor Newson earlier this year announced a new round of $100 million in grants for local beautification projects. The projects will be announced in the coming weeks.
Many Clean California projects throughout the state include public art created by local artists and other design aesthetics. Among its many positive attributes, art in public spaces has been shown to benefit communities by reducing illegal dumping and graffiti, just one of the goals of Clean California.
For more information, visit CleanCA.com.