The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has begun preliminary work on the Dana to Downtown Project on SR 44 near downtown Redding. Work at this point includes preparation of the staging area beneath the bridge and, beginning on April 15, 2008, for a two week period, crews placed gravel in the riverbed on the east bank, which will protect salmon spawning during construction.
Temporary access roads are being built for use by construction equipment. Motorists are ask to use caution in the area and watch for trucks delivering equipment and materials, entering and exiting SR 44 just east of the bridge and on the off-ramp to southbound Interstate 5.
More visible and larger scale work on the project will begin in May when the contractor will begin setting staged traffic control and placing K-rail (concrete barrier) which will shift traffic away from the median. During the summer months crews will work on filling the gap between the two bridges in preparation for demolition of the north side of the structure.
Caltrans, Shasta County Regional Transportation Planning Agency and the City of Redding held a ceremonial groundbreaking event on April 22 on the Auditorium Drive overcrossing. The overcrossing was closed to through traffic for the event.
The Dana to Downtown Project is on State Route 44 between Interstate 5 and downtown Redding. Once complete the project will relieve congestion in the greater Redding area, improve highway safety, supplement the Redding bike trail system and provide an enhanced gateway into downtown Redding. Project highlights include:
• Access ramp from Dana Drive to westbound SR 44 will give motorists direct westbound access to downtown from the Hilltop/Dana Drive area.
• Replacement of the Sacramento River Bridge with a larger, six-lane facility.
• Construction of a new bike/pedestrian path from the Hilltop/Dana Drive intersection to Turtle Bay.
• Replace the Auditorium Drive interchange with a wider, four-lane over crossing.
• Third lane eastbound between East Street and Park Marina Drive off-ramp.
• Third lane in each direction between Auditorium Drive ramps and I-5 ramps.
• Enhanced landscaping, lighting and aesthetics.
Construction is expected to take three years.