“Caltrans takes seriously its responsibility to preserve the species and habitats on these lands,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “We will protect these wetlands and fisheries in the Little Lake Valley while preserving grazing on much of these lands.” Continue reading
Moments ago the California Transportation Commission approved the funding for the the Willits Bypass Mitigation Project. The Willits Bypass Project, already under construction, will proceed on schedule.
A formal News Release will be posted soon.
This four-minute video briefly describes the extensive mitigation that Caltrans has included in the Willits Bypass Project.
For more information:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU REACHES AGREEMENT WITH CALTRANS
ON WILLITS BYPASS LAWSUIT
EUREKA – Caltrans announced that it has come to an agreement with the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF). As a result of the agreement, CFBF has dismissed its Federal lawsuit against Caltrans and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Under the settlement terms, Caltrans has agreed to cooperate with the University of California, Davis, and UC Cooperative Extension on a long-term UC study of how rangeland practices interrelate with wetland function. The study will center on the Caltrans properties that will be managed and monitored for environmental mitigation purposes. Caltrans will also meet with farmers and ranchers with lands adjacent to the Willits Bypass mitigation properties to address any questions or concerns they may have about neighboring State mitigation properties, and will provide CFBF with information regarding Caltrans’ processes and protocols for evaluating farmland impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“We are very pleased that we have come to this agreement with the Farm Bureau,” said Matt Brady, Caltrans District 1 Deputy District Director for Program/Project Management. “These discussions have increased our understanding of each other’s needs, and we now have a stronger relationship as we move forward with the Willits Bypass Project, and with other projects in the future.” Continue reading
The north interchange of the Willits Bypass Project is unique with its integrated roundabout. A total of four bridges will be built over Upp Creek in Phase 1, and the existing culvert under Route 101 at Upp Creek will be removed as part of the mitigation which will improve fisheries. Just minor modifications will be needed during the construction of Phase 2 to add the northbound lanes through the interchange. Continue reading
Caltrans studied more than one route which could have used the railroad corridor, but they were not feasible for the following reasons:
Caltrans bird survey protocols for the Willits Bypass Project are a very important part of our compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). But just what is the MBTA, what does it cover, and what does it require?
The MBTA was first enacted in 1916 to protect migratory birds in the United States and Canada, and it has been amended many times. It now protects migratory birds between the United States and Mexico, Japan, and Russia. The treaty states that is it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell listed birds. Currently over 800 species are listed. Continue reading
[NOTE: An earlier version of this post erroneously attributed this letter of support as coming from Supervisor Hamburg personally, not from the Board of Supervisors as a whole]
In a March 26, 2013 letter to Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty, Mendocino County Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg wrote on behalf of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors saying it is time to build the Willits Bypass Project. . .
Re: Continued Support for the Willits Bypass Project
Dear Director Dougherty,
Despite 14 years of environmental studies and six years to obtain the necessary permits from resource agencies, the U.S. 101 bypass of Willits remains a controversial project within a small segment of the local community. Continue reading
Learning more about the sustainable approach and care that has gone into the Willits Bypass Project offers special insight into Caltrans’ application of contemporary and world-class engineering practices. This is definitely not our grandfather’s way of constructing a highway.
Every major project Caltrans develops follows a rigorous process of environmental consideration and review that directly shapes every aspect of a project, from the various alternatives analyzed during the planning phase to the way Caltrans ultimately minimizes, and then compensates for any unavoidable construction impacts to the natural environment. Continue reading