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Economic Impact Study for Last Chance Grade alternatives to be complete in January

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DEL NORTE COUNTY- Caltrans is closer to completing an Economic Impact Study for Last Chance Grade.

The area is a 3.5 mile stretch of Highway 101 which is 10 miles south of Crescent City. The area is prone to landslides, which send the road closer to the ocean. Caltrans has been determining possible alternatives for the Last Chance Grade, but needs to complete an Economic Impact Study before moving forward on a project. The study examines how not doing anything would impact the North Coast economy. As part of the study, Caltrans is studying truck traffic and census data. But officials say the other portion of the study, surveying North Coast Businesses, is critical for determining how beneficial an alternate route would be. They have received responses from over 30 businesses so far.

"If it's purely from the data source, it won't as accurately reflect what's going to happen to businesses and to the traveling public, so we need the responses to the survey so that we can hone in that and refine that economic study to more closely reflect what we actually think will happen in the event of a failure," said Talitha Hodgson, the Project Manager for Caltrans, District 1.

If there was a full closure of the Last Chance Grade, the detour would take about 8.5 hours.

The Economic Impact Study will be complete in January.