Humboldt Beacon (

State Route 36 project funded by feds, state

By Mary Bullwinkel, The Humboldt Beacon

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Members of the Highway 36 Association traveled to Red Bluff last week with some good news about funding for a much needed highway improvement project near Dinsmore.

In mid-October, the California Transportation Commission approved a resolution which allocated the state’s share of the money for the State Route 36 project, along with 13 other State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects throughout California.

When told about the funding, Highway 36 Association President and Fortuna optometrist Dr. Alan French said he was pleased this project would be funded.

“This will be the last section of Highway 36 to become a conventional two-lane highway,” he said. He said this particular project and others in the planning stages were discussed at the meeting.

Specifics of the project near Dinsmore include realigning and widening State Route 36, making the lanes and shoulder widths standard, realigning curves, and improving roadway cross slopes.

The project is expected to begin in the summer of 2017.

According to Caltrans Public Information Officer Eli Rohl the project will include many safety improvements.

“There will be significant and tangible benefits,” he said. “In the end, it will be a lot safer in that area.”

He also said the project will have a significant impact on travelers during construction. He said there would be multi-hour closures, with traffic perhaps only allowed through a few times each day. Construction hours are anticipated to be between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays.

“We are working with the (Federal Highway Administration) to develop a traffic control plan,” he said.

The State Route 36 project is a partnership between Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) with the FHA contributing a greater share of the funding. It’s estimated that the FHA will put in more than $20 million, with the State of California paying more than $13 million for the project.

The construction project will improve an approximately 4-mile section of State Route 36 from Burr Valley Road to Buck Mountain Road.

French and the Highway 36 Association delegation reported on the project at the association’s annual gathering held Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 in Red Bluff. The annual gathering alternates between Red Bluff and Fortuna, with the meeting to take place next year in the Friendly City.