HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. — The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) in Arcata won another lawsuit against Caltrans's proposed Highway 101 project that aims to widen the road at Richardson Grove State Park.
According to Caltrans, the proposed multi-million dollar project would widen a portion of Highway 101 to allow larger trucks to enter Humboldt County. The plans involve pavement being placed on a portion of Richardson Grove State Park, but no old growth Redwood trees would be cut down as a result.
"It absolutely concerns me as a taxpayer, because Caltrans is wasting my money, our money by continuing to bring back this project and not following the law," director of EPIC Tom Wheeler said. He said the group has won multiple lawsuits regarding the issue will continue to file against the proposed project.
"They haven't taken a hard look at the likely environmental consequence of their action," Wheeler said. "When you cut a bunch of roots and you pave over them, you cut the tree, you starve the tree, not giving it what it needs because you'd kill the root system."
In response to the ruling, Caltrans District 1 Director Matt Brady said: “Caltrans remains committed to serving the public with a safe and sustainable state highway system that supports the local economy and jobs while preserving the natural beauty of the North Coast. Caltrans is currently reviewing the recent federal NEPA ruling regarding the Richardson Grove project on U.S. Highway 101 in southern Humboldt County and considering options moving forward."