Caltrans Proposed Project in Richardson Grove Is ‘senseless, wasteful and damaging’, Says Letter Writer
Greetings … hopefully you have been keeping an eye on local media and have seen that yes indeed the opponents of the Caltrans project have filed another lawsuit in the on-going effort to stop this senseless, wasteful and damaging project [in Richardson Grove]. This most recent lawsuit is the Federal companion to a State Court action filed several months ago. The Federal suit alleges violations of NEPA – the Federal environmental protection statute and the State action alleges violations of CEQA the California environmental protection statute. These companion lawsuits resulted from Caltrans’ renewed authorization of its project on the basis of no significant environmental impact.
The objective of the project has not changed – it is to allow passage of Interstate-size big-rigs through the Grove to the detriment of other users of the road such as Park visitors, bicyclists, passenger vehicles and most importantly to the detriment of the health of the ancient old-growth trees that the Park is supposed to be protecting.
Caltrans has not presented any scientific evidence that uprooting the pavement and tearing into the root structure of the ancient trees will not result in harm to the trees, let alone acknowledged the effects of increased truck traffic. In fact, their proposal flies straight into the body of evidence that holds that the redwoods are shallow rooted and that pressure on the roots will harm the trees. Recently it was announced that a boardwalk is being constructed in the Grove of Titans in Jedediah Smith State Park to protect the ancient redwoods there from the pressure of sightseeing tourists wandering on foot about the Grove! If foot traffic is so harmful how can you justify increased truck traffic?
Now that we are paying an extra 12 cents per gallon on fuel tax for road repair you may be interested to note that Caltrans has upped the cost of the project from a mere $10 million when the project was announced in 2007 to a hefty $25 million now. Any bets on a final number? Caltrans is notorious at underestimating the cost of its projects. Remember the $6 BILLION overage on the Bay Bridge? Closer to home the infamous Willits by-pass topped its estimated $300 million cost and is now nearing at last estimate almost $500 million and still counting for the cost of mitigation.
The so-called justification for this project varies depending on which side of its mouth Caltrans choses to speak from. Sometimes it is safety and then sometimes it is economic growth – both arguments are specious and not supported by either facts or common sense.
More, larger big-rigs will pay havoc with our local roads and Caltrans does not provide maintenance dollars for local roads. Big-rig trucks are not only the most polluting vehicles on the road but also the most dangerous as the recent spate of big-rig accidents on our local roads can attest.
Their laughable argument that allowing access by Interstate-size trucks will save the Humboldt consumers money on everyday purchases is totally unsupported by any objective measure.
Currently the action is in the Courts but those concerned can take action individually in a number of ways. Letters to the editor, letters to elected representatives and donations to help with Court costs and literature are appreciated. EPIC (the Environmental Protection Information Center) is one of the plaintiffs and donations can be made at wildcalifornia.org – please specify that your donation is for Richardson Grove.
Thank you for your continued interest in this struggle and we’ll keep you posted as the Court cases grind on. Thanks also to our community members who serve as individual plaintiffs as well as to EPIC, CBD (the Center for Biological Diversity) and CATS (Californians for Alternatives to Toxics) and to our devoted, hardworking attorneys. With respect, Barbara Kennedy
Kennedy also provided the following information showing a number of big rig accidents that she says supports her contention that big rigs are unsafe.
[UPDATE 10:10 a.m.] Big Rig Smashed Through Guardrail North of Hooker Creek on Hwy 101
October 19, 2017 Kym Kemp 37 comments
[UPDATE 4 a.m.] Zenia Bluff Road Closed After Semi Gets Stuck…Again
October 17, 2017 Kym Kemp 12 comments
[UPDATE 7:50 a.m.] Big Rig Accident Near Chapman’s Gem Shop on Hwy 101; One Lane Blocked
August 18, 2017 Kym Kemp 21 comments
Semi Jackknifed Blocking Zenia Road
August 9, 2017 Kym Kemp 23 comments
Big rig‑pickup collision blocks Highway 101 in Hopland
RANDI ROSSMANN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | August 8, 2017, 1:33PM
Family mourns mother and daughter killed in big rig crash
Posted 10:47 AM, August 3, 2017, by City News Service and Sharon Chen, Updated at 09:22AM, August 4, 2017
[UPDATE 7:11 a.m.] Head-on Crash Between Big Rig and Passenger Vehicle
July 5, 2017 Kym Kemp 8 comments
Trucking Industry Split on Push Toward Heavier Trucks
***NOTE IN THIS ARTICLE TOWARD THE END IT ADMITS THAT BIG RIG TRUCK ACCIDENTS HAVE INCREASED, ETC.
June 30, 2017
Editor’s Picks, Financial
UPDATE 5:40 p.m.] Logging Truck Accident on 299; Medevack Called For; Logs in Westbound Lanes
[UPDATE 5:38 p.m.] Semi Overturned on Hwy 36; Both Lanes Blocked
May 22, 2017 Kym Kemp 10 comments
Trailer of Big Rig Overturned on Hwy 299 Spreading Fertilizer and Blocking One Lane
47,000 Pounds of Beer on the Road; Take One Down, Pass It Around?
April 23, 2017 Kym Kemp 38 comments
3-17-17 Semi crashes into Hopland tap house
3-4-17 Big Rig on Redwood Drive collides with pedestrian walking in the opposite direction
2-18-17 Two more big rig accidents today:
Traffic Impacted Between Leggett and Richardson Grove With Two Different Semi Accidents
1-23-17 – A fatality and arrest
UPDATE 6:03 p.m.] 101 Closed Between Laytonville and Leggett
January 23, 2017 Kym Kemp 29 comments
(UPDATE) Semi Truck Overturns Near Highway 101 Off-Ramp, Blocks Both Lanes of Route 271 in Piercy
(UPDATING) Highway 101 Fully Closed after Truck Crashes, Leaks Fluid Onto Roadway
9-7-16 Gas Truck Crashed
Gas Truck Crashed on Hwy 101 Near Salmon Creek Yesterday; Cleanup Today Will Restrict Traffic
1-20-16 Another Big Rig turned over with fertilizer Highway 101 North of Weott; unrelated to Big Rig Crash north of Orick.
Lost Coast Outpost
(UPDATE) Overturned Big Rig Spills Fertilizer All Over Highway 101