By Donna Westfall – November 1, 2021
Do you ever worry about traveling back and forth to Eureka because of Last Chance Grade? Last week Doug had an appointment at the VA Clinic. Several times a day before driving down there I would think, what would happen if the road gave way and trees came down or the road gave way and people landed in the Ocean? It had happened before: Those include Crescent City resident Kurt Stremberg, whose parents were killed when their car went off a collapsed section of the roadway during a storm in 1972.
But we made the trip back and forth without incident. The road is bumpy though. I imagine that’s the way it felt riding in a stagecoach. We didn’t have a long wait. More like 5 minutes, not 30 minutes or longer, but here’s the latest update from Caltrans dated November 1st:
PROGRESS CONTINUES AT LAST CHANCE GRADE: As travelers should continue to expect 30-minute delays at Last Chance Grade until sometime in 2022, slide stabilization measures above the roadway are nearly complete at the coastal and landslide-prone stretch of U.S. 101 south of Crescent City.
“Cable drapery systems are being installed along with rock anchors to prevent future slope failure,” said Caltrans District 1 Construction Supervisor Clayton Malmberg. “The fix is on schedule to be sufficiently completed in the next couple of months.
”Simultaneously, crews will continue their work through the winter months, replacing two damaged walls and expanding the recently stabilized section of roadway by several hundred feet. This work is helping to further stabilize and situate the current roadway and is scheduled to be completed next year. At that time, it’s possible the roadway will feature two-way traffic for the first time since 2014.
Please take comfort in knowing we have crews monitoring this area 24-7 and so long as it’s open, it’s safe. While we cannot predict what this coming winter will bring, we can confidently say we’ve conducted an incredible amount of prep for inclement weather conditions, and we are proud of our crews’ accomplishments.
To read up on our mounting progress in potentially building a long-term solution for this slide-prone area, please visit