Environmental delays to construction of 1.7-mile-long passing lanes on Highway 41 north of the 22 Mile House have been cleared, Caltrans spokesman Christian Lukens said.
Construction was set to begin on the lanes last month, but the presence of threatened California Tiger Salamanders delayed the work until their relocation.
Lukens said everything appeared “good to go” with the species properly relocated.
Trees along the northbound side of the highway were being removed last week, Lukens said, with similar removals planned for the southbound side that began this week.
The “Dragon Tree,” notable for its infamous shape among Mountain Area and Valley residents, is located near the project area but will not be affected by construction.
Contracted through Teichert Construction of Sacramento, the lanes will begin 0.3 miles north of Road 208, which is next to the 22 Mile House, and run 1.7 miles north from that point.
The project will add a lane in both directions.
Sections along Highway 41 that pass through rocky areas, which hold increased driving risks, will undergo blasting to remove the dangerous materials though those dates had yet to be set.
Rocky Cut, where a rockslide closed Highway 41 in January, is outside the project and will not be included in the blasting, Lukens said.
Lukens added actual construction of the lanes, which along with blasting could cause traffic delays, had yet to be scheduled though they’ll likely pick up once tree removal is completed.
Total costs for the project are $9.7 million, including supplemental work and other contingencies after Teichert’s $8.7 million bid was selected over three competitors last July.