Willits bypass delayed again

September 11, 2013 9:43:41 PM PDT
There has been more trouble for a highway project in Mendocino County that is under fire from environmental protesters.

After having a permit revoked two weeks ago, Caltrans has resumed hauling dirt to the project, but they can only haul it at night through the town of Willits. Tuesday night, two demonstrators chained themselves to a truck for more than eight hours, backing up a string of trucks and stopping work on the project.

Three people were arrested.

Caltrans is building a $300 million bypass to alleviate a bottleneck on Highway 101 through Willits. The project goes through sensitive wetlands and it is being built as traffic in the area is actually declining.

Critics want Caltrans to scale down the project from four lanes to two. They say it would be cheaper and do less environmental damage. Caltrans insists the four lanes are still necessary.

Photographer Steve Eberhard with The Willits News put together a slide show of aerial shots of the project combined with Caltrans drawings.

Written and produced by Jennifer Olney


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