Caltrans and EPIC don’t often see eye to eye. But we agree that something needs to be done about Last Chance Grade, and fast. To that end, EPIC is working with other stakeholders to find funds to begin planning for an environmentally responsible replacement.
which can be viewed here. These alternatives range from a long bypass, largely through Green Diamond Resource Company land, to a shorter tunnel through Redwood National Park.
Before Caltrans can do work, it needs money to start environmental analysis. EPIC and other stakeholders are requesting immediate funding from the California Transportation Commission to begin geotechnical evaluation of potential new alignments. Caltrans is also looking for “emergency” funding from the Federal Highway Administration for work on the project. Under normal circumstances, this money would not be available to create a new alignment—that is, moving a road to a different location. However, Congressman Huffman and Caltrans have been hard at work to secure an exemption to this usual rule as replacing the road in its current alignment is impossible. Both Congressman Huffman and Caltrans deserve immense credit and kudos for their quick work and resolve in seeking funding.
As a voice for the conservation community on the project, EPIC will continue to push to minimize any environmental impacts from road construction and to mitigate all impacts to the fullest degree feasible. EPIC will keep you updated when more information becomes available.
Last Chance Grade Alternatives Map