Straightening of SR-36 will spur weekday road closures

State Route 36 will be closed during the day west of Dinsmore for road work, Caltrans announced.
State Route 36 will be closed during the day west of Dinsmore for road work, Caltrans announced. Times-Standard file

Work on a more than 4- mile stretch of state Route 36 will fully close the highway on weekdays from Aug. 1 through Nov. 1, according to Caltrans.

The stretch between postmile markers 36.05 and 40.44 west of Dinsmore will allow for a collaborative road project that will “realign and straighten curves” on state Route 36. It is a joint project between the Federal Highway Administration, Caltrans District 1 and Eureka-based Mercer-Fraser Company.

The closures will be Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.

“Traffic can come through between 12 and 1 and after 5,” Caltrans public information officer Christopher Woodward said.

When traffic opens at the site of the road work, cars will be allowed to go in both directions — motorists won’t be restricted to one-way traffic.

This is the first of two lengthy planned closures of state Route 36 in the same area west of Dinsmore, said Kody King, a Mercer-Fraser spokesperson. The other will be next year between March 1, 2018, and Nov. 1, 2018, he said.

“Outside of the full closures, there is a chance there will be flagging happening with 30 minute delays,” King added.

King said that the straightening of state Route 36 will make it a more pleasant drive for those who may feel queasy from the zigging and zagging of the road.

Caltrans is suggesting alternative routes be used to go east, such as state Route 299.

“Delays are relatively short at Big French Creek right now — 30 minutes or less,” Woodward said. “There is still work going on, but the delays are far less.”

Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.

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