After a meeting in Eureka hosted by Caltrans Tuesday night, one Humboldt County resident was concerned there isn't enough information about a proposed $35 million project to make safety improvements on the corridor at the Indianola Cutoff to go forward. 

 

"So, Caltrans is taking questions and answering them verbally, but it's not a valuable public comment session," said Jennifer Kalt, a resident within Humboldt County who says she was frustrated after attending the public input meeting Tuesday. "Caltrans's projects would go a lot smoother if they would get serious about taking public input," Kalt said.

 

"There are significant safety improvements needed in the corridor," said Jeffrey Pimentel, the project manager for Caltrans. He says the Indianola Cutoff sees a high rate of accidents. The cost of the project is $35 million, money Pimentel says is needed to protect those who drive through the area daily. 

 

Caltrans expects to meet with the Coastal Development Commission at the end of June in hopes of being approved for a permit. Pimentel says the public input meeting is required before they are allowed to receive the permit. "With our funding timeline and with all of the challenges on the coast, we have to deliver these projects by the end of June in order to maintain that funding," said Pimentel. 

 

"People have questions, they are asking about what's the traffic control plan or asking what the wetland mitigation plan is," said Kalt. "They should have that information to review before the public comment period and they don't, they don't have that."

 

"Our main goal is to make sure people get to their destinations safely and we're sure this is exactly what's needed in order to accomplish that goal," said Pimentel.

 

"We live here, we bike and ride on the corridor all the time and we have ideas for how it can be improved but they don't seem to really care," said Kalt.

 

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5/8/16

Two Eureka road rehabilitation projects are likely to be cut, and the long-anticipated $38 million U.S. Highway 101 Corridor Improvement Project at the Indianola Interchange will likely be delayed two years, according to a report released by the California Transportation Commission.

Funding for these improvement projects comes from the state’s gas tax, which has seen massive shortfall as gas prices have plummeted and fuel efficient vehicles, including electric plug-ins, replace gas guzzlers.

11/14/13

Today in Newport Beach, the Coastal Commission finalized its Sept. 12 decision on the 101 Corridor Project. The Commissioners made it very clear to Caltrans that removal of all billboards between Arcata and Eureka is a critical component of the project, without which they would reconsider their "conditional approval." North Coast District Commissioner Martha McClure agreed, saying that Friday's letter from billboard company attorneys translates to "Caltrans may have to pay for removal of the signs, but that's the applicant's issue."

11/11/13

Looks like the company that owns all those billboards between Arcata and Eureka just recently found out that the Coastal Commission wants them all torn down. It's response? "You can't make us!"




That's a rough translation of the comically wordy lawyer-speak contained in a letter from attorney Anthony M. Leones of Miller Starr Regalia on behalf of CBS Outdoor Inc., owners of the billboards. What Leones actually wrote was, "The illegalities that inhere to these proposed actions are of a constitutional size." (Jeepers!)

9/22/13



On behalf of the Northcoast Environmental Center and Humboldt Baykeeper, we are writing to reflect upon the Coastal Commission’s Sept. 12 decision to conditionally approve Caltrans’ 101 corridor project. First we would like to thank the many people whose efforts led to what we feel is a reasonably balanced outcome: the many transportation and trail advocates, the various municipalities and county representatives, business owners, outspoken members of the public, and those who took a principled stance in the face of opposition.

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