Caltrans Investigating Cultural Resource Disturbance

willits_valley_2A cultural resource was unintentionally disturbed recently at the Willits Bypass Project, and Caltrans takes this occurrence very seriously. When Caltrans staff became aware that a cultural site was within our construction area, work at that location was immediately stopped, and the disturbance is under investigation. The Sherwood Valley Rancheria Chairman and their consultant were notified and provided with details of the steps taken to secure the area from further disturbances.  Here’s what we know so far: nothing has been removed except for a core sample used in originally identifying the site.

Caltrans works hard statewide to protect cultural resources on all our projects.  Our employees are upset by this disturbance since they work so hard, and go to such great lengths, in their effort to ensure this does not happen. For this project, there are six cultural monitors working alongside active construction, with authority to temporarily halt work if required, to protect cultural resources. Continue reading

Work Schedule Update for the Willits Bypass Project

There will be night work and a temporary road closure beginning next week for the Willits Bypass Project.

East Hill Road will be intermittently closed to through traffic from Sanhedrin Circle to Cemetery Lane beginning Monday, August 5 through Thursday, August 8 from 7AM to 6PM, and also on Friday, August 9 from 7AM to 3PM. The intermittent closures at this location are scheduled through October 15.  Motorists are advised to seek an alternate route.

Night work for the Willits Bypass will begin Wednesday, August 7 and continue through October 15.  Nighttime work hours will be 7PM to 7AM. Work will consist of a trucking operation and there will be temporary intermittent full closures of Route 101 one mile south of the Haehl Overhead Bridge, and also one mile south of the North Willits Railroad Crossing. Motorists can expect ten minute days at each location.

Any questions regarding this Willits Bypass construction may be directed to Caltrans at 707-456-1900.

Caltrans would like to remind motorists of the potentially lifesaving message, “Slow for the Cone Zone.” For the most current road information on all State highways, please call 1-800-427-7623 (1-800-GAS-ROAD) or visit http://www.dot.ca.gov

No Construction Work Thursday

In honor of the Independence Day holiday, work at the Willits Bypass construction sites will be suspended on Thursday, July 4. Work will resume on Friday, July 5.

Have a safe and memorable Fourth of July!

~  Caltrans Willits Bypass Construction

Caltrans Statement Regarding Removal of Wick Drain Protestor

On July 1, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) with the assistance of Caltrans removed a protestor who had set up a perch atop a wick drain installation machine at the Willits Bypass northern construction site.

The individual protestor had put him and others at risk, and delayed construction by trespassing.

With ongoing hot weather, there was also concern about his health and safety.

During the protestor removal, one additional protestor was arrested for trespassing.

Caltrans has prepared a video which explains wick drains, and why they will be used for the Willits Bypass Project. The wick drain video can be found here: willitsbypass.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/willits-bypass-project-all-about-wick-drains/