By Debra Moore
Getting to and from anywhere in Plumas County is going to be challenging now and for the next few years.
Caltrans officials paid a visit to the Board of Supervisors on May 17 to present an overview on various work plans that will impact residents throughout the county. Some of the projects are already under construction, some are in project development and some are in planning.
Dale Widner, a project manager for Caltrans District 2, touched on three major projects. The first is a restoration project on Highway 70 west of the Greenville Wye that entails building a retaining wall a half-mile long. “It’s quite a project,” Widner said and indicated that it would take two to three years to construct.
The second project is for Almanor West and is in project development. This rehabilitation project would completely replace the roadway and add a bike path on the lakeside of the highway. Construction is set to begin in late 2024
The third project is for Quincy and is 14 miles of capital maintenance. A public meeting is set for June 22 to gain public input as the work will impact the downtown area. Construction for this project isn’t scheduled to begin until 2028.
Another project manager, Clint Burkenpas, addressed the Cromberg rehabilitation project and Dixie Fire restoration work. This project begins just west of Cromberg and goes through Portola to the Grizzly Creek bridge east of the city. The roadway will be brought up to current standards, and the pavement is going to be fully reconstructed. The curves — both up and down, and left to right — will be addressed. The timetable for this project is running about six months behind. Bid packages will go out in November. This project is expected to take three full seasons of construction, with Burkenpas saying that Caltrans hopes to keep delays to “15 to 20 minutes.”
As for the Dixie Fire Restoration, Burkenpas said that a large part of the work has been completed, and the contractors are currently working on some of the drainage systems. He estimates that crews will be done by the end of June.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be traffic delays this summer. Bill Sutherland, who handles traffic management for District 2 said that the work that had been planned for last summer along Highways 70 and 89 pushed into this year and PG&E is trying to underground its generation lines. For Caltrans purposes, the work has been divided into two areas: Quincy to the Butte County Line and Quincy to Chester.
“Looking at 45 delays for each,” Sutherland said. “Thirty minutes for Caltrans; 15 minutes for PG&E Monday through Friday,” during the day. However, PG&E anticipates 30 minute delays overnight and 45 minutes on the weekend. He added a lot of work needs to be done, and though those timeframes are goals, “there will be some times when it could be longer.” He said if that occurs, Caltrans would alert the local media.