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Construction on Willits Bypass resuming this week

WILLITS- Construction on the Willits Bypass will resume this week after a several month hiatus. 

The six-mile bypass will have no stop lights or crosswalks and is designed to eliminate delays for drivers traveling through Willits.  Planning for the Willits Bypass began in 1988, and the project is state and federally funded. Crews began working on “Phase 1” of the Willits Bypass in February of 2013.  Phase 1 costs about $210 million. Crews had to stop construction last November for a winter suspension, but work will resume by Thursday this week. Caltrans officials say winter suspensions for road projects on the north coast are common because certain construction problems arise in cold and wet weather.

"On this project, there was a lot of soil to be moved and other work that could not be done during the winter.  Part of it is involving environmental permits from various agencies.  They did not want us to be working in wet weather so we shut it down, except for a very small crew that was keeping an eye on erosion control issues that might have come up from the rains," said Phil Frisbie Jr., the Caltrans District 1 Public Information Officer. 

Phase 1 of the Willits Bypass is expected to be complete by the fall of 2016. The second phase will be the expansion of the bypass into four lanes.