California Department of Transportation—Willits Bypass

The need for a bypass to relieve congestion along U.S. Highway 101 through the City of Willits was identified more than a half-century ago. After many delays for various reasons, Caltrans finally began construction the project in 2013. The Willits Bypass project consisted of 15 lane miles of new highway, 15 bridges, and three retaining walls, all crossing an environmentally sensitive floodway and an important wetlands habitat. Another key feature of the project was a 1.1-mile viaduct built over the floodway to cut environmental impacts. During project construction, engineers worked to overcome delays and ended up cutting costs by about $9 million, ultimately opening to the public a year earlier than projected. The end result is a bypass that has significantly improved local traffic flow and fostered area revitalization.California DOT's Willits Bypass