Congressman Huffman tours Scenic Drive in Trinidad

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Huffman and Madrone on Scenic Drive

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman visited Trinidad Wednesday at the invitation of 5th District Supervisor Steve Madrone to survey recent storm damage and ongoing slumping on Scenic Drive. 

Joining Huffman and Madrone on their tour were officials from Senator McGuire's office, Humboldt County, the City of Trinidad, Trinidad Rancheria, California Coastal Conservancy, Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust, Friends of Scenic Drive, and CalTrans. The group met at Houda Point, then walked north on Scenic Drive to view the recent landslide and the culvert that flows into Luffenholtz Creek which was discussed as a barrier to steelhead passage for the last 100 years.

Madrone told the group that Scenic Drive (formerly Hwy. 1/Redwood Highway) was transferred in 1967 from CalTrans to the county as the state was building Highway 101. At that time, Madrone said, the estimated repairs required for Scenic Drive were more than $15 million. 

The county received no state funds for that work. The current estimate to repair and stabilize the road is over $40 million. Madrone said that Scenic Drive has been placed on HCAOG's list for consideration of funding.

In addition to seeking support from Huffman, Madrone is also seeking backing from the state and Sen. Mike McGuire. 

Madrone described Scenic Drive as “our Pebble Beach Drive,” and others spoke of the road’s value. Resident Peter Cohan, representing the Friends of Scenic Drive — a citizens organization dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of the road — distributed a fact sheet, but said the coastal road’s amazing views and natural beauty are the best way to really appreciate its true value.  

If funding is found, Madrone said work to preserve and stabilize Scenic Drive would require an engineering costs assessment, and then final plans and permits would be acquired before any actual construction.

Huffman thanked the group for the opportunity to see the situation and acknowledged the value and specialness of the area.