As dire warnings have repeatedly flown out of Sacramento, Caltrans moves blithely along with highway projects.
Locals hope that Caltrans’ optimism pays off with completed projects, but fears grow that the State will not come across with the cash to finish projects like the Manzanar four-laning south of Independence where a great deal of earth work has made way for the two new lanes to the east of the current two.
One of the latest bits of information from the State Treasurer’s office shows the Manzanar four-lane project on the list of Projects Shut Down or Suspended.
When asked about this, Caltrans Public Information Officer Susan Lent said she passed on the information to Caltrans Director Tom Hallenbeck and awaits his reply.
Then, there is the Independence four-lane project where currently 100 trees fall to Granite Construction chain saws. Residents hope that the money will come through to complete the four lanes and sidewalks for which trees have been sacrificed.
One local business owner expressed his displeasure with Caltrans’ unwillingness to assure state funding before destruction of the old, beautiful trees. He posted a sign that says “Caltrans Tyranny”.
Growing numbers of stumps can be seen along Highway 395 which serves as Main St. for Independence.