Caltrans: Judge's decision may delay opening of Willits freeway project

WILLITS, Calif. (KGO) -- Caltrans says a judge's decision could delay the opening of a controversial freeway project by a year. It's the Highway 101 bypass around the town of Willits in Mendocino County.

Environmentalists are urging Caltrans to scale down the project which will pave over more than 40 acres of federally protected wetlands.

They claim there hasn't been enough environmental review of the excavation of 900 million cubic yards of dirt for the project.

Wednesday, a superior court judge issued a temporary restraining order against Mendocino County and Mendocino Forest Products that blocks the dirt excavation, at least until a hearing on September 8.

Caltrans says the delay will likely mean the bypass won't open until 2017.
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