ESA fencing separates Environmentally Sensitive Areas from the active construction area. You have probably seen the lightweight orange plastic fencing typically used around construction sites, but the Willits Bypass Project is not your typical construction project!
The ESA fencing being installed is a result of Caltrans working closely with our permitting agencies. Our original plans called for a typical lightweight ESA fence placed just outside the minimum work area the contractor will need to construct the bypass. While working with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, it was determined that since the Willits Bypass would be a multi-year project we needed to use an ESA fence that was ‘substantial’, and that a 5-foot high chain-link fence with steel posts would be needed.
Then the California Department of Fish and Wildlife asked that we provide a 2-foot gap under the fence to allow small and medium sized wildlife to freely pass under the fence, and to provide gaps at some locations for large wildlife to pass through.
The final result is an ESA fence constructed of 5-foot tall steel posts with a 3-foot tall section of chain-link fencing attached at the top which meets our permitting agencies’ requirements. The fence helps us meet our commitment to protect the environmentally sensitive areas adjacent to our construction area and will allow wildlife to move about freely. This fence will remain in place until construction is completed.