What is the Project?
At the request of Butte County, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service (FS), and the Central Federal Lands Federal Highway Division (CFLHD), BCAG completed a Project Reconnaissance and Scoping Report (August 16, 2002), investigating the widening and reconstruction of Forest Highway 171 (Upper Skyway).
In December of 2002, BCAG took the lead to develop the environmental document and begin the process of completing the Project Approval and Environmental Document (PA&ED) phase.
Why was the Project developed?
Beginning in late 1999, citizens and local officials living in and representing the communities above Paradise began expressing a concern that in the event of a fire or related natural disaster, there was only one way into and out of these communities. The southerly exit would be through the Town of Paradise on the Skyway. The northerly route would have to be over the Upper Skyway or FH 171 over a 9.6 mile section of dirt road extending between the community of Inskip and Butte Meadows.
The primary purpose of this project is improved safety for in excess of 25,000 residents living in and around these communities, also know as the Upper Ridge. Improvements to Forest Highway 171 (Upper Skyway) also substantially completes basic infrastructure necessary for the FS to effectively administer and manage the large amount of federal lands in the northeastern portion of Butte County by providing a through route.
The Humboldt, Palermo and Concow fires of 2008 have provided an increased awareness and further supports the merits of completing this project.
The project has been completed in its entirety at an approximate cost of $12 million and is now open to public traffic.
Questions or comments: Should you have any questions or comments regarding the project please call or e-mail Andy Newsum, Project Manager at (530) 809-4616.