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Caltrans working to resume construction on portion of Willits Bypass Project

WILLITS- Construction on part of the Willits Bypass Project was halted last week when the Army Corps of Engineers suspended their permits.  Friday morning, Caltrans sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers in an attempt to get those permits re-authorized.

"We believe that our letter addresses their concerns, both the items we feel that we've already complied with and that we laid out the ground work to get the rest of it in compliance," said Phil Frisbie, Jr., the Public Information Officer for Caltrans, District 1.

Some of the Army Corps of Engineers’ reasons for issuing the suspension are claims that Caltrans did not complete the mitigation site preparations in a timely manner, Caltrans did not create an updated mitigation schedule, and that Caltrans did not provide assurance that they had the funding to complete mitigation.  Caltrans and Army Corps of Engineers officials met Tuesday to discuss those and other issues.  Caltrans officials also informed the Army Corps of Engineers that they would continue work at two stream locations, going against the suspension.  Caltrans says stopping work at these two sites could kill fish in the area.

"We feel that following our permit with the california department of fish and wildlife and the noaa fisheries is more important to protect the fish, that that would override the corps' letter," Frisbie said.