SR 49 Corridor Improvement Project

Funding Awarded for Improvements on State Route 49
On June 28, 2023 the California Transportation Commission (CTC) awarded the Nevada County Transportation Commission $14.6 million of Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) funding for southbound improvements on the State Route 49 corridor between the McKnight Way Interchange and La Barr Meadows Road. The SR 49 Corridor Improvement Project - Phase 2 includes the construction of a southbound truck climbing lane, eliminating the southbound lane drop/merge point south of the McKnight Way Interchange, and construction of a new entrance on SR 49 to the new Nevada County Transit Operations Center.

The total construction cost for the SR 49 Corridor Improvement Project – Phase 2 southbound improvements is $19 million, which is comprised of the $14.6 million of TCEP funding and $4.4 million of matching funding.

With NCTC securing the funding for the southbound SR 49 Corridor Improvement Project - Phase 2 improvements, it will now allow for both the northbound improvements (Phase 1) and the southbound improvements (Phase 2) to be constructed together with construction beginning in FY 2025/26.

“This funding will bring this project to completion sooner, lessening the construction impacts for residents with much-needed safety and evacuation improvements,” said Nevada County Board Chair Ed Scofield, who also serves on the Nevada County Transportation Commission. “I'm looking forward to seeing the many transportation improvements the Nevada County Transportation Commission has planned and brought in funding for in Nevada County.”

The SR 49 Corridor Improvement Project - Phase 1 includes construction of the northbound truck climbing lane, a continuous center two way left turn lane, 10’ shoulders, and elimination of the northbound merge point, improving operations, safety, and mobility. Phase 1 also includes southbound right turn lanes at Wellswood Way, Bethel Church Way, Smith Road, and Crestview Drive. Other safety features include enhanced wet night visibility striping, rumble strips, and pavement edge treatments. A wildlife undercrossing with fencing will also be installed as part of this phase to help reduce deer strikes.

For more information, contact Mike Woodman, NCTC Executive Director, at or (530) 265-3202.
Second Public Meeting Scheduled for State Route 49 Corridor Improvement Project
Caltrans Proposes to Improve Highway Operations, Mobility and Safety 
Wednesday, September 22 from 6 to 7 p.m.
Log in to view the virtual presentation at;
a WebEx account is not required.
Meeting number 2487 319 3260; passcode 49corridor
Listen in by phone at 1-408-418-9388. Please enter meeting number 2487 319 3260##
WebEx phone attendees will not be able to view the presentation and will remain muted. Those wishing to ask questions are advised to utilize the conference call option.
Conference Call:
Connect directly with a Caltrans staff member by dialing 1-888-570-6350,
participant code 4170217.
Please note that you will not be able to view the presentation or interact with presenters. A Caltrans staff member will be available to pass along any questions or comments.
During the presentation, community members will learn about the project alternatives, view displays and maps and learn where they can review the environmental document, which is available for comment through October 8. Caltrans staff members will be available to answer questions and receive comments from the public.
The purpose of the corridor improvement project is to improve safety, operations and mobility on SR-49 between Allison Ranch Road/La Barr Meadows Road and the McKnight Way interchange in Nevada County. Proposed improvements include the addition of north and southbound truck-climbing lanes, a median barrier, 8- to 10-foot shoulders, right turn lanes, two at-grade access-controlled intersections, improvements to vertical curve sight distance, an animal crossing and bicycle facilities. This project is scheduled to be built in three phases based on funding availability.
District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. For project updates, follow Caltrans District 3  on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.
SR 49 Corridor Improvement Project from La Barr Meadows Road to the McKnight Way Interchange
Like Caltrans, safety is our priority and we are currently working with them to develop the next phase of improvements on Highway 49 between La Barr Meadows Road and the McKnight Way interchange. This upcoming project examines options to eliminate the merge points and improve the highway to four-lanes, which includes improvements such as construction of northbound and southbound truck climbing lanes, auxiliary lanes, a 14’-22’ median or median with barrier, 8’-10’ shoulders, right turn lanes, and two at-grade access-controlled intersections with frontage roads to improve safety and traffic operations. The project is located south of Grass Valley in Nevada County, between PM 11.2, the north end of the SR 49/La Barr Meadows project, and PM 13.3, near the McKnight Way interchange. This project is programmed in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) from the Regional Improvement Program (RIP).
The Project Approval & Environmental Documentation (PA&ED) phase is programmed for $3 million, and the Plans, Specifications, and Estimates (PS&E) is also programmed for $3 million. Preliminary Engineering is taking place and field surveys are complete. An Open House was held on 8/5/15 at Grass Valley City Hall to present project concept options to the public. Results from the meeting showed alternative option #4, 22-ft wide median freeway with median barrier and frontage roads, as the one the public favored most.
Design is working on the preliminary preferred alternative option #4 and Right of Way is working on permits to enter for environmental field work. A PDT meeting was held 6/19/17 to discuss the status of the project and the large number of archeological sites that have been discovered throughout the project limits. Caltrans is moving forward with traffic studies and cultural studies to complete the environmental document.
Caltrans will have another public meeting after the Draft Environmental Document is complete to present the alternatives to the public for comment. Caltrans is continuing to pursue full funding for a SHOPP safety project which would add a two-way left-turn lane in the center and a truck climbing lane going north. If additional funding can be secured, the hope is that the SHOPP funding could be contributed to the ultimate project. By continuing with PA&ED studies and PS&E design, the project may be in a better position to receive grant funding. 
On August 5, 2015, Caltrans hosted an Open House at Grass Valley City Hall to present an overview of the project. The public had the opportunity to view various alternative concepts that could be constructed to meet the project purpose of improving safety, traffic operations, and pedestrian and bicycle mobility from north of the La Barr Meadows Road intersection to the McKnight Way interchange.

The Open House was attended by approximately 50 people. The alternative favored by most people is Option 4, which is 4 lanes with a 22 foot median and frontage roads.  The comments received will be utilized in the Project Approval and Environmental Documentation (PA/ED) phase of the project currently being conducted by Caltrans.  Following completion of PA/ED in FY 2020/21, Caltrans will begin work on Plans, Specifications, and Estimates (PS&E).