The remote town of Happy Camp will likely be a little less isolated by the end of the Day. 


For nearly three weeks, State highway 96 has been shut four miles west of Happy Camp. A slowly eroding hillside started calving rock, trees and boulders onto the ribbon of asphalt below, forcing Caltrans to close the road January 17th.  

About three miles of Northbound Interstate 5 will be closed to traffic south of Redding tonight, Caltrans says. The closure will detour drivers off I-5 at state route 273, and return to the interstate at South Bonneview Road. The closure will be in place from midnight tonight until five a.m. Wednesday.

Construction workers will be pouring concrete. The work is part of an effort to widen I-5 to six continuous lanes through Redding and Anderson. Southbound lanes will not be affected.   


Western Siskiyou County has become a bit more remote as an active, slow-moving landslide threatens travel along state Highway 96.


The slide about four miles west of Happy Camp was already an issue when an emergency repair contract was issued this summer. But the rains arrived before the overhanging hillside was secured.


Opened for service when Ford’s Model T was considered a technical marvel, Caltrans is prepping a replacement for a century-old bridge still carrying traffic on what’s now State Route 99. 

“Originally constructed in 1918, it was widened sometime after that. It’s just met its useful life at this point, and time to be replaced.” Caltrans Project Manager Michael Webb said.


The $290,000 that will fund the project comes from Caltrans. The money is meant for planning and will fund ShastaReady, an emergency preparedness plan. 


Michael Kuker, assistant transportation planner with the Shasta Regional Transportation Agency said everything is on the table. That includes notification systems and methods, along with going over data from recent wildfires to identify bottlenecks that slow down both evacuations and responding firefighters. He said they’ll even looking into figuring out how to reroute traffic without overwhelming rural areas.

Locals can weigh in Thursday on Caltrans plans for replacing an historic Sacramento River crossing. 


Like those of a similar vintage, officials insist the 71 year old bridge is ready for retirement. 


The span, which carries State route 162 across the Sacramento River at Butte City, in Glenn County no longer meets earthquake standards. Caltrans plans to start work on an entirely new bridge two years from now. 


Caltrans says repeated winter storms are delaying efforts to reopen State Route 299, with officials adding another week to the current timeline.

“When we are able to work, that’s going really well,” said Trisha Coder, a Caltrans spokeswoman. “We just can’t be out there in a hard rain because of the instability of that hillside.”

The hillside, about 30 miles west of Weaverville, has been problematic, repeatedly spawning landslides. The most recent, Dec. 12, buried the roadway beneath one hundred thousand tons of rock.

Caltrans is warning that it may take several days before floodwaters recede enough to reopen a part of State Route 162. Vast amounts of water gushing down Butte Creek from the foothills are exceeding the capacity of the creek and its overflow channel, submerging a section of roadway at the county line between Butte and Glenn Counties. The highway is currently closed between Glenn County Road Z and Aguas Frias Road in Butte County. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes. 

Highway 299 is severed once again by a rockslide about 28 miles west of Weaverville, and motorists can expect pretty lengthy delays.

According to Caltrans, don’t expect to make the drive between Weaverville and Willow Creek until the middle of next week.

Trisha Coder is a spokeswoman for Caltrans.

“Monday morning we had a significant slide that brought down a lot of large boulders, and right after we cleared that we had a second slide that pretty much filled up our catchment area that we had built,” she said.

National Weather Service

Caltrans is urging motorists to keep chains handy Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as a cold winter storm bears down on Northern California. The National Weather Service predicts snow levels in Shasta County as low as 1,000 feet late Wednesday and overnight. In the Sierra foothills, snow is possible down to 2,500 feet.