Local Contractors Want to Work the 101 Slide and County Roads

UPDATE: Ernie has a post about this here.

A small storm is brewing in the Southern Humboldt area as local contractors, heavy equipment operators, and construction supply workers complain that the company awarded the emergency contract on the Highway 101 slide is benefiting Redding workers at the expense of those living nearby.  The crisis site SoHum Awareness and KMUD radio station have heard many complaints.

One of those commenting on the new crisis site, SoHum Awareness, stated, “We were sitting here last night listing all the locals with dumps and equipment that could use the work!” An angry thread of conversation revolved around the concern that workers and heavy equipment were being imported from Shea’s Construction’s hometown of Redding while local trucks who were near the slide sit idle. Below are some excerpts with only the initials of the people posting comments.

VS: been looking at these pictures and i can’t seem to find any locally owned and operated trucks out there. oh thats right they r all from redding

PA: We were sitting here last night listing all the locals with dumps and equipment that could use the work!

SHA:This is really a shame.

ES:Yeah most of the dumps and equipment are sitting right in Garberville or right outside of town

CH: keep in mind, you are dealing with the state, our local trucks probably dont meet their “standards”.. yes a shame.

PA:This Redding company has the power to hire at least local dumps to haul the dirt and there is a lot of dirt and their crew would still be working!

JL:Unfortunately the bonds needed to do this type of work far exceeds a standard class A bond. I’m a local bonded and insured contractor with 2 mil in liability and it doesn’t even come close. What’s most important is that the road is cleared safely and efficiently so that the locals can get back to work and life.

VS: not surprised when u mix union and croonism this is what u get tax payer picking up the bill

ES: And they are already doing the job on the avenue before Miranda which they won the bid for

Jon Lefebre, owner of Select Builders, would love to hired as much as anyone else.  But he isn’t sure whether many of the locals have the appropriate licensing and bonds required.  He says he pays about $10,000 per year for the required papers for a Class B General license.  Lefebre says, “I pay a lot of money to protect [my clients] if something happens.”  He explains that licensed contractors not only have to pass tests about their knowledge of contracting and building situations but they have to carry liability insurance to protect anyone injured because of his work. They also have to be bonded in case they make mistakes so their clients are protected.  “Just because you have heavy equipment doesn’t mean you are certified to do the work.  Since I’ve been here, people have cut roads and put in benches [without knowing what they are doing].  These can destabilize the land and cause a lot of damage…  There is a methodology to how that has to be done.” He pointed out the California State Licensing Boardhas a site that has a great deal of helpful information on what is needed.

Today some locals are apparently getting hired. (A call to Caltrans Information Officer wasn’t returned in the half hour time I called before posting.  I will update with information when I get it.) Here is more of the thread.

JD: some local trucks are getting to work on the slide today…..finally!!

CW:Great news….hopefully we will continue to see some of the locals picking up work! Yeah. Yes, much more cost effective to bring in trucks from right here, and not being paying 3 hours of down time for the drive.

ES: …it’s probably at least 5 hours of downtime in a dump truck going over 299

JL:Great to hear the local trucks will be helping, move move move the dirt!!!!

Me (Kym Kemp):  Does anyone know who has been hired? Which locals?

CW: I had been told most of the trucks hired were out of Eureka. Shea isnt doing all the hauling.

JD: I know my two sons are on it now. So there must be others from here. I will let you know as I find out.

Diana Totten, well respected for her search and rescue efforts, says that she has been asked to organize a community meeting to better prepare local contractors to participate on local emergency projects. “I haven’t really pursued it because I’m not sure I can make it happen.  Every day we read about the government trying to stimulate jobs.  Mother Nature has come in with her own stimulus. It would be great if our local economy could benefit from these recent storms…. There is a great group of people that I’ve worked with over the years.  They get in and work hard.  They have pride in what they do.  We’re an independent people. We like taking care of our families and our places.”

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Photo by Kim Sallaway (If you haven’t seen his bird photos, you should)

 

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24 comments

  • I love your blog. I love being kept informed of the local stuff…especially since I live in Santa Cruz now! Humboldt rocks!

  • I love your blog. I love being kept informed of the local stuff…especially since I live in Santa Cruz now! Humboldt rocks!

  • Kym
    Thank-you so much for this posting. I have heard enough people grumble about needing the work that I did a post on my blog also. I don’t begrudge the people presently working on the slide. I don’t begrudge any person with a job nowadays, but what does it take to get our local contractors back to work?

    How much longer will it be before the little guy is squeezed out completely? The only contractor will be huge monopolys.

  • Kym
    Thank-you so much for this posting. I have heard enough people grumble about needing the work that I did a post on my blog also. I don’t begrudge the people presently working on the slide. I don’t begrudge any person with a job nowadays, but what does it take to get our local contractors back to work?

    How much longer will it be before the little guy is squeezed out completely? The only contractor will be huge monopolys.

  • Took my walk along the frontage road and today there are many dump trucks working and I mean many. How many are local I can’t say but I think most are. They are moving the dirt north to the turnout north of Sylvandale bridge, I’m assuming that when that spot fills they will move on to the scales turnout and they have already piled the trees there. They must have brought in skip loaders to fill those trucks as fast as they are doing it. I was impressed.

  • Took my walk along the frontage road and today there are many dump trucks working and I mean many. How many are local I can’t say but I think most are. They are moving the dirt north to the turnout north of Sylvandale bridge, I’m assuming that when that spot fills they will move on to the scales turnout and they have already piled the trees there. They must have brought in skip loaders to fill those trucks as fast as they are doing it. I was impressed.

  • Since filling your gas tank these days could double the value of your car, if you are situated to take advantage of the blissfully vacant 101 freeway, you could ride a bike to the store…or stroll. Of course that opportunity will evaporate on Monday. But maybe after 6pm we could ride? Just a thought.

    • Megan, I asked about that and was told no bicycles or walking was allowed on the closed freeway. I was hoping to ride on there too. 🙁

      • No, I did not mean riding in the slide area. I’ve been riding from my house at Dean Creek to Garberville. And even the traffic for miles each way on either side of the slide is much reduced allowing for getting around here on bike safer and much more pleasant!

  • Since filling your gas tank these days could double the value of your car, if you are situated to take advantage of the blissfully vacant 101 freeway, you could ride a bike to the store…or stroll. Of course that opportunity will evaporate on Monday. But maybe after 6pm we could ride? Just a thought.

    • Megan, I asked about that and was told no bicycles or walking was allowed on the closed freeway. I was hoping to ride on there too. 🙁

      • No, I did not mean riding in the slide area. I’ve been riding from my house at Dean Creek to Garberville. And even the traffic for miles each way on either side of the slide is much reduced allowing for getting around here on bike safer and much more pleasant!

  • In a related way I would like to say after driving both the Ettersburg/Honeydew and Alderpoint/Bridgeville bypasses in the last few days I have a whole new perspective of what county road crews are dealing with. I drove home to Miranda yesterday thru Bridgeviile. The north half of the road between Blocksburg and Bridgeville is only passable due to the efforts of county crews. There are numerous slip outs, slumps and slides that provide an ongoing challenge. There is water pouring out of the high country in every creek and gulley. These crews are doing a hell of a job and I will not be complaining about local potholes. I do wish State Parks would do something about Pothole Way aka Rockefeller Forest which is one of the worst stretches on the western loop. That stretch really screws up an otherwise wondrous experience that is the Bull Creek groves. It is another example of the neglect that we saw at Whitmore Grove.

  • In a related way I would like to say after driving both the Ettersburg/Honeydew and Alderpoint/Bridgeville bypasses in the last few days I have a whole new perspective of what county road crews are dealing with. I drove home to Miranda yesterday thru Bridgeviile. The north half of the road between Blocksburg and Bridgeville is only passable due to the efforts of county crews. There are numerous slip outs, slumps and slides that provide an ongoing challenge. There is water pouring out of the high country in every creek and gulley. These crews are doing a hell of a job and I will not be complaining about local potholes. I do wish State Parks would do something about Pothole Way aka Rockefeller Forest which is one of the worst stretches on the western loop. That stretch really screws up an otherwise wondrous experience that is the Bull Creek groves. It is another example of the neglect that we saw at Whitmore Grove.

  • The Parks don’t have any money. Americans would rather see everything fall apart than pay taxes.

    Apparently it’s also OK to fund wars (sending billions of untraceable dollars over seas) and to allow large corporations to pay no federal taxes. And don’t forget we certainly don’t want to tax those rich people!

  • The Parks don’t have any money. Americans would rather see everything fall apart than pay taxes.

    Apparently it’s also OK to fund wars (sending billions of untraceable dollars over seas) and to allow large corporations to pay no federal taxes. And don’t forget we certainly don’t want to tax those rich people!

  • I’m told that a few locals have been hired. A couple of names were given to me, but I don’t see any reason to post them. I’m a little sour on blog commenting and personal agendas lately, and the last thing I want to do is have morons speculating on why these few were chosen.

  • I’m told that a few locals have been hired. A couple of names were given to me, but I don’t see any reason to post them. I’m a little sour on blog commenting and personal agendas lately, and the last thing I want to do is have morons speculating on why these few were chosen.

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