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Local officials will represent county in truck route talks

By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

Local Transportation Commission members Dennis Burns and Leslie McNamer will represent Del Norte County on a state committee addressing trucking restrictions on U.S. Hwy. 101.

The Caltrans Route Review Committee is aiming to solve noncompliance issues in the Richardson's Grove area of Hwy. 101. At present, that portion of the narrow road with tight turns that large trucks are not allowed to use it.

The restrictions affect commerce in Del Norte County, slowing delivery of goods to this area and lengthening the amount of time it takes to get them here.

In addition, transportation commissioners Mike Sullivan and Mike Scavuzzo will attend meetings of another route review committee looking for ways to bring U.S. Hwy. 199 and State Hwy. 197 into compliance with the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, which regulates truck safety issues.

Non-compliance issues on both highways further complicates commerce here.

Sullivan told commissioners during their meeting Thursday that the Caltrans is "committed" to finishing two project study reports regarding work on part of the two highways. He met recently with Caltrans District 1 Director Charlie Fielder and other officials to talk about Del Norte County's myriad transportation headaches.

Caltrans disclosed this winter that the two studies — both necessary before work can be done — were inadvertently set aside, delaying work on the projects.

Each of the projects could cost about $1 million, however final cost estimates will not be made until all environmental work is finished.

Because members of the local transportation group are frustrated by this area's long history of transportation issues, commission Director Tamera Buchanan wants to write a brief summary of them to hand out to various organizations and their representatives.

The summary will condense all of the group's goals and information.

"It's really important to do this," Sullivan said. "My plan is to keep hammering people over the head with it."


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