UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.
Oroville, Calif. -- A major expansion is in store for Highway 70 through south Butte County.
$400 million has been approved in funding to expand the mostly two-lane road.
This expansion has been a long time coming. The stretch of highway 70 has been a particularly deadly one and after 30 years of planning, it is finally happening.
Highway 70 is a road that has seen 35 deaths since 2010 between Oroville and Marysville.
"It's been under development for 30 years. It's rewarding to see it finally come to fruition," said Jon Clark, Executive Director of the Butte County Association of Governments.
Approximately $497 million will go towards widening the highway to five lanes for 11 miles, between Oroville and the Yuba County line.
"You have a lot of commuters that use this corridor so you've got a lot of activity there, you've got high speed vehicles and it's only a two lane highway so it presents safety problems," said Clark.
The expansion, which begins in 2020, will be broken into seven segments.
"What we're trying to do is use funding under safety programs that's available to make improvements and the money available for capacity increasing to build a four lane highway with a center left turn lane," said Clark.
Segments one, two and three are on the Butte County end. These segments received funding from the California Transportation Commission to expand to four lanes with a center left turn lane.
"Projects Four and Five are in Yuba County and right now they're only funded to make improvements to two lanes with a center left turn lane and improved shoulders," said Clark.
Projects Six and Seven are funded to be constructed to four lanes with a center left turn lane.
In 2017, 13 people died on Highway 70 in Butte County alone.
"It's unfortunate that it took a lot of fatalities to trigger a lot of safety fronting, but bottom line is it's going to get done. It's going to be a safer road," said Clark.
The projects in Butte County and Marysville will start in the spring of 2020. Construction on the middle segments will take a little longer because they haven't received enough funds yet to expand to four lanes.
Oroville Calif.—More than 400 million dollars in funding has been approved to widen Highway 70.
The Highway has become extremely dangerous having 13 people die on the dangerous road in 2017.
The California Transportation Commission approved the spending Wednesday.
The money will go towards the widening of the Highway to four lanes, and a center left turn lane from Oroville to the Yuba County line.
The Highway will have two through lanes in each direction and a continuous center left turn lane.
The project will be broken up into seven segments that will take place over the next few years.
The construction is set to begin in 2020.
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