Last Chance Grade: Economic Impact of U.S. 101 Closure (California)

For Caltrans, EDR Group (now EBP) evaluated the economic consequences of a landslide and roadway-failure along a segment of Highway 101 called "Last Chance Grade (LCG)," which extends between Wilson Creek to 9 miles south of Crescent City in Del Norte County. Because this section of the roadway is prone to landslides and closure, it has significant impacts on the surrounding counties and communities. CalTrans turned to EDR Group to estimate the economic consequences of a 320-mile detour in the event of a Highway 101 closure until repairs and renovations are completed.

The identified economic losses were driven by a reduction in tourism visits, and disrupted supply chain connections, and increased travel costs for residents, travelers, and local businesses. This analysis included a review of reports, previously published by the Transportation Economic Branch of CalTrans, examining the economic loss of a Highway 101 closure. The final results of this report are expected to help state legislators and CalTrans evaluate the economic resilience, cost, and impacts between different investment scenarios given the risk of an LCG closure.