Willits bypass project dead,' officia...

Willits bypass project dead,' officials say

There are 64 comments on the The Willits News story from Aug 31, 2010, titled Willits bypass project dead,' officials say. In it, The Willits News reports that:

The Willits bypass project is at a halt after more than 50 years of planning, officials reported Tuesday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Willits News.

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one staff person no way

United States

#1 Aug 31, 2010
the "one staff person" meme is BS. And the 40 letters didn't mean squat, either, not to the Army Corps of Engineers. The fact is the Army Corps of Engineers has had -- for 20 years -- a national policy of requiring "no net loss of wetlands" to grant permits. They don't give permits for projects that can't show "no net loss of wetlands." If they did give a permit to the Willits bypass plan that did show a loss of wetlands, that would set a national precedent. The real question is why Caltrans couldn't show the Army Corps a plan that had "no net loss of wetlands." How hard it is to make wetlands? What a screwup. Millions of dollars, and decades, of planning, and yet their plan was deficient. And not just deficient due to a few loose ends -- Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbee said on KZYX last night that Caltrans would continue to work with the Army Corps and maybe, after a year and half or two years, they might get a permit. That shows some serious deficiencies in the plan. To me, it seems the question is: who in Caltrans misled the California Transportation Commission into thinking that Caltrans could win a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers after only 2 months, even though Caltrans knew perfectly well about the "no net loss of wetlands" issue? This is a major major screwup on Caltrans' part. It is Caltrans' fault, and also the CTC's fault for approving the project -- giving the go-ahead for expensive purchase of right-away -- without having the permits in hand. They can try -- and John Pinches can try -- to pass the buck to the Army Corps of Engineers and "one staff member," but the buck stops with Caltrans, absolutely, no question about it.
I call BS

United States

#2 Aug 31, 2010
Screw all you people...let the smog of parked cars on 101 thru willits continue, lets have more people killed crossing the road...
You people deserve each other.
No more backroads

Jackson St Forest, CA

#3 Aug 31, 2010
From now on, I will not be taking any backroads around Main Street in Willits. No sir, we should all drive up and down Main Street and clog things up good. We don't need that bypass. Who needs to keep a schedule anyway? Those same C.A.V.E. people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything)have already destroyed the jobs while the rest of us think minding our own business is a good thing. It's time to unite and pay attention! While you are sitting in traffic, spend the time thinking of just how this happened! 40 letters! I'd like to see THOSE names posted.....
Mike-Lakeport

Oakland, CA

#4 Aug 31, 2010
Leave it to one of Obama's federal agencies, (The Army Corps of Engineers), whose primary mission is to energize the economy and reduce risk from disasters, to kill this project. The bypass must not help enough of his Homies.
Glassfrog

Lakeport, CA

#5 Aug 31, 2010
Mike-Lakeport wrote:
Leave it to one of Obama's federal agencies,(The Army Corps of Engineers), whose primary mission is to energize the economy and reduce risk from disasters, to kill this project. The bypass must not help enough of his Homies.
Stop taking the ridiculous opportunity to trash this President just because you don't like him. The Corp of Stupid Engineers have been around a lot longer than he has, and have been doing this kind of thuggery for long time. Get your priorities straight. He is trying to straighten out the God awful mess made by the prior 8 year regime.
RRRRRRight

Miranda, CA

#6 Aug 31, 2010
"Leave it to one of Obama's federal agencies,(The Army Corps of Engineers), whose primary mission is to energize the economy and reduce risk from disasters, to kill this project. The bypass must not help enough of his Homies."

LMAO!!!! The Army Corps of Engineers is suddenly Obama's! The lack of a Willits bypass is Obama's fault folks. He's been working against this for 50 years. Not enough "homies" in Willits!
MAMMALO

Jackson St Forest, CA

#7 Aug 31, 2010
Celebrate...
dUh

San Jose, CA

#8 Aug 31, 2010
I call BS wrote:
Screw all you people...let the smog of parked cars on 101 thru willits continue, lets have more people killed crossing the road...
You people deserve each other.
ditto.
majority of Willits

United States

#9 Aug 31, 2010
majority of Willits residents supported the bypass, so because Caltrans screwed up bigtime by not presenting a plan with "no net loss of wetlands" -- how hard is it to make wetlands, I ask again?-- commenters here write Screw Willits? well screw you, too, then. This has nothing to do with "Obama's Army Corps," the wetlands requirement has been in place for 20 years, and it's Caltrans' screwup -- or deliberate failure because the project was turning out to be a lot more expensive than the federal highway money would pay for -- not to make a plan that met the requirement, which they knew would have to be done.
the fearless spectator

Jackson St Forest, CA

#10 Aug 31, 2010
This has to be a major disappointment to many in the Willits community. On the other hand the mayor and others on the Willits city council and elsewhere have made no secret of their selective distain for CalTrans, the process, the route and the relinquishing of Main street/101.
Regardless of the celebrations, back slapping and champagne corks popping in the elites community today rest assured they had nothing to do with the demise of the bypass, one might suggest they just got lucky.
No the fix was probably in for a long time. Never really understood the logic of the state spending all that money on a simple little hi-way town like Willits. With the cities buried in congestion, disintegrating infrastructure and woefully under funded projects waiting it should come as no surprise that the money not talked it screamed.
The Willits by-pass is not a new concept, all involved knew the requirements, all involved knew the problems, all involved knew the Army Corp of Engineers would be the issue, yet the locals were led to believe by many political types this was really going to happen.
The good things are, the community will not have to endure years of noise, dust and destruction on the streets of Willits. There will be no snide jokes about the roadway that lives above the mismanaged, over spent, poorly built, underestimated new sewer plant. There will be no relinquishment of 101/Main Street.
The unfortunate developments will be the lack of economy developed by this major project, the chance to make Willits something other than a simple little hi-way town. The moving of the thru traffic from the center of town and all that negativity it produces and affects.
Yes the town will stay the same, just like the mayor, his cronies and others have always wanted.....little development, no new industry, minor tourist trade, the status quo..... This was Willits chance to change, who knows if it would have been good, bad or somewhere in the center, Willits will never know..........
Koalabear2525

United States

#11 Aug 31, 2010
if the bypass were here today you would have a gost town .
Mike-Lakeport

Oakland, CA

#12 Aug 31, 2010
Obama and his croonies had no problem opening their mouths about the Arizona issue in defiance of the American people, why not get mouthy about this issue? I'll tell you why. It's not Philly, Baltimore, Atlanta, D.C. or Chicago.
Grrrrr

Ukiah, CA

#13 Aug 31, 2010
Mammalo You are a jackass! To people like myself in the construction buisness this was going to help support our familys big time but stupid hippies like yourself dont know what its like to have to have a job to support your family!
BeenWaitingForBy pass

San Francisco, CA

#14 Aug 31, 2010
majority of Willits wrote:
majority of Willits residents supported the bypass, so because Caltrans screwed up bigtime by not presenting a plan with "no net loss of wetlands" -- how hard is it to make wetlands, I ask again?
So, the Corps is above Federal law?

Read the Caltrans proposal. They followed FEDERAL laws which allow preservation of land when it is not practical to create wetlands. I cannot comment on how hard it to create wetlands, can you? The Caltrans people I have meet at the public meetings seem pretty smart, so I find it hard to believe they would go forward with a risky plan if it were easy to create the wetlands.

Also, as previously reported in the Willits News last year, the Corps has known about Caltrans plan for preservation of 2,000 acres of oak grasslands instead of creating wetlands for over a year, and Caltrans only moved forward because the Corps gave verbal approval to the plan.

As recently as last month the Willits News reported that the Corps told Caltrans that they would provide the conditional permit by end of August. So what changed? I feel for Caltrans because I have been jerked around by our own local government.

I built a home outside Ukiah about 7 years ago. I was getting my building permit in order and the County gave me a checklist of ALL (so they said) the remaining items that needed to corrected/completed. So I took care of the remaining items, lined up a contractor to begin the foundation, and went in to get my permit.

Well, I get to the building department, the permit inspector checks off the list, and then he asks, "are you in the CDF protection area?" It turns out I was (by about 60'!), so my permit had to wait ANOTHER 4 weeks while CDF approved my lot plan. By that time my contractor's work schedule was booked and I had to quickly find another contractor who charged $5,000 more for the same work, but I had no choice but to pay it or have another 3-4 month delay.

I hope Mike Thompson gives the Corps a virtual swift-kick (or maybe a real one!) and gets them to issue the permit THIS WEEK. We need this bypass, and at this time we REALLY need the jobs.
lake county weirdo

United States

#15 Aug 31, 2010
Did the state or the government purchase any land for this project by the use of eminent domain??? If so what happens now???? Does the land owner who was forced to sell their land and move get a chance to move back in or does it go up for sale at a new and higher purchase price?... Oh yeah while i am at it just for fun...
O.B.A.M.A One Big **** Mistake America.. this should stir things up ha ha ha
Mr C

Fremont, CA

#16 Aug 31, 2010
I know that all the pot smoking hippie scum in Willits are happy because they wanted to kill the bypass. Too bad it's going to mean even less jobs for the working folk of this county.
Grrrr no way you would

United States

#17 Aug 31, 2010
Grrr, no way would you have gotten any kind of construction job from this bypass. None of the contractors here have enough bonding to do any of the contracts, and the rank-and-file workers all have to be union labor, they've got plenty of unemployed already, don't need to add no local boys to the union. Bud Garman, backhoe guy in Willits "wasn't even invited to the meeting," about contract possibilities.
As far as smog and people getting run over, the facts (this is what Caltrans and Phil Dow said, not the "dirty hippies"), since Caltrans decided against a connection to Highway 20, 70 to 80 percent of the traffic would still be going through town, so we'd still have (sometimes) a bottleneck with idling traffic south of the 101 and Highway 20 intersection. Caltrans wanted to "relinquish" the highway without doing any of the repairs, that's BS, too, and thanks to the mayor -- a strong proponent of the bypass -- for not letting Caltrans "blackmail" Willits into taking on those huge repair costs. We need an alternative route: former supervisor Hal Wagenet had a plan for such: let's get down to business and GET SOMETHING DONE.
GrassHopper

United States

#18 Aug 31, 2010
Koalabear2525 , Ghost Town you mean like Ukiah , Cloverdale , Healdsburg , Santa Rosa , Windsor , Sure look like Ghost Towns to me...
BeenWaitingForBy pass

San Francisco, CA

#19 Aug 31, 2010
one staff person no way wrote:
the "one staff person" meme is BS. And the 40 letters didn't mean squat, either, not to the Army Corps of Engineers. The fact is the Army Corps of Engineers has had -- for 20 years -- a national policy of requiring "no net loss of wetlands" to grant permits. They don't give permits for projects that can't show "no net loss of wetlands."
Again, I ask the question, "Is the Corps above Federal law?" Should they be able to press a higher standard than the laws our elected officials and President put into place?

The Corps is simply reminding us what an outdated bureaucracy they really are. They simply cannot change to keep up with changing laws. I applaud Caltrans for quickly taking advantage of the new environmental laws, and pushing the Corps to come into 2010! SOMEBODY has to push or drag the Corps into the 21st century. It's just too bad this long needed project may be put on hold indefinitely because of the Corps lack of adaptability, integrity, and honesty.
Grrrrr

Ukiah, CA

#20 Aug 31, 2010
Grrrr no way you would wrote:
Grrr, no way would you have gotten any kind of construction job from this bypass. None of the contractors here have enough bonding to do any of the contracts, and the rank-and-file workers all have to be union labor, they've got plenty of unemployed already, don't need to add no local boys to the union. Bud Garman, backhoe guy in Willits "wasn't even invited to the meeting," about contract possibilities.
As far as smog and people getting run over, the facts (this is what Caltrans and Phil Dow said, not the "dirty hippies"), since Caltrans decided against a connection to Highway 20, 70 to 80 percent of the traffic would still be going through town, so we'd still have (sometimes) a bottleneck with idling traffic south of the 101 and Highway 20 intersection. Caltrans wanted to "relinquish" the highway without doing any of the repairs, that's BS, too, and thanks to the mayor -- a strong proponent of the bypass -- for not letting Caltrans "blackmail" Willits into taking on those huge repair costs. We need an alternative route: former supervisor Hal Wagenet had a plan for such: let's get down to business and GET SOMETHING DONE.
Actually Granite construction which is who i work for so there for I am in the union is nation wide so they would be more able to bond all or at least portions of it that we could do. So maby befor you talk know what you are talking about

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