Caltrans continues work on 70; no estimated time to reopen

Highway 70 has been closed to through traffic in the Feather River Canyon since strong thunderstorms on Sunday, June 12 caused multiple slides and debris flows in Dixie Fire burn scar areas.

Caltrans reports that there were five slides/debris flow areas  between just west of the Rock Creek Dam and Belden. Two of these locations, near the outlets of Opapee Creek and Murphy Creek, have sustained significant damage to the highway and surrounding areas, including complete loss of shoulder and roadway undermining (erosion under the roadway) in areas, along with drainage and guardrail damage.

These storms also caused smaller areas of debris flows and slides on State Route 36 in Tehama County near Childs Meadow and on State Route 89 in Tehama County, north of the junction with State Route 36 (both of which are also in Dixie Fire burn scar areas). These areas of roadway are currently open but will likely require roadside ditch cleanups and drainage work.

Highway 70 remains closed to through traffic between Jarbo Gap (west of Pulga) and the Greenville Wye (junction with State Route 89). There is currently no estimated time for reopening the highway. Caltrans and contractor remain on scene assessing damage, creating access and removing debris where possible. Work will be conducted to reopen a lane of traffic with 24/7 traffic control as soon as possible, pending further assessment, activity and weather, and the safety of workers in the area and the traveling public.


There is currently no designated detour for this closure. Motorists are advised to choose alternate routes and to check for restrictions if traveling in big rigs or other larger vehicles.

Please contact the District 2 Public Information Office at 530-225-3426 or via email with questions. 24/7 highway conditions and information are available in California via QuickMap or via One-Stop-Shop for Western U.S. states.

The scene at Murphy Creek on Highway 70. There is no estimate of when the highway will reopen to traffic. Photo courtesy of Caltrans