Representatives from Caltrans were on hand at last week’s Mount Shasta City Council meeting to discuss future improvements to the Interstate 5/Highway 89 interchange.

Two alternatives were presented to council by Mike Webb and Tim Huckabay during the council’s regular meeting on Dec. 12. Once the city recommends a plan, Caltrans will move forward to obtain environmental documents for the project.

Option 1 would realign the first quarter mile of Mt. Shasta Boulevard in order to eliminate the sharp curve drivers currently have to take to get from south Mount Shasta to 89. It would also move the Highway 89 to I-5 onramp further north and reverse the direction traffic moves on the overpass, sending motorists back over the freeway to get on the Interstate.

Option 2 would remove and replace Highway 89 to I-5 onramp with a new “hook” onramp and provide a new connector between the interstate and the freeway. The sharp turn that connects the Boulevard to I-5 would be left as is.

Option 1 is the less costly of the two projects at an estimated $5 million. It could be completed within one season, Webb said.

Option 2 has a $20 estimated cost and would take two seasons to complete.

In order to allow councilors time to go out to the interchange and visualize the two options, a decision was put off for two weeks. Webb will attend the next city council meeting on Monday, Jan. 9 and at that time, the council will give their final input before Caltrans moves forward with the project.