It was bound to happen so it is no surprise that once again Caltrans has unleashed its mighty bureaucracy on Richardson Grove State Park with its insistence that Highway 101 be “realigned” to allow Interstate trucks to legally navigate this scenic stretch of the road. You may have seen the announcement in area newspapers on May 22. You can find the documents at:
Since 2007 concerned citizens have battled Caltrans in Court to address deficiencies in the plan and most importantly determine why Caltrans is so insistent on forging ahead with this costly project (projected now to cost as much as $8.5 million.) Supposedly the rationale is to “improve goods movement” into and out of the County but the documents do not provide any example of how the public would actually benefit from this expenditure of tax dollars at a time when our existing roads need REPAIRS rather than new projects.
How can this expenditure be justified in light of the fact that the State Legislature has voted to INCREASE OUR STATE GAS-TAX BY 12 CENTS PER GALLON because of the need for road repair and maintenance? With the potential failure of Highway 101 at Last Chance Grade estimated as costing as much as $1 billion dollars where is the economic justification for the Richardson Grove project? You won’t find such an analysis in the newly released documents. Perhaps our Caltrans bureaucrats need to take a course in cost-benefit analysis. We tax-payers deserve some answers on Caltrans spending.
The new documents are entitled an “Addendum to the Final Environmental Impact Report.” This means that Caltrans gets away with not having to issue a new EIR/EIS and therefore there is no public comment period. However, this does not prevent citizens from voicing their discontent via letters to the editor and via social media.
More substantive comments as soon as the documents are analyze, so stay tuned!
(thanks to Barbara Kennedy)