BY EILEEN COOPER
First definitions and explanations:
STAA Trucks stands for Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 or extra long trucks
CTC = California Transportation Commissioners
DEIR – Draft Environmental Impact Report
Regarding the truck access along the Smith River on Hwys 199/197, there has been a local political push to attain STAA truck access with negligence regarding public safety and without concern for actual need, despite the great cost of providing STAA truck access. The local trucking evaluation of the DEIR substantiates that there is negligible economic need for STAA access. The DEIR reveals that it is impossible to provide safe STAA access by using cut slopes, because our winding, narrow river canyon highway cannot be widened adequately due to geologic instability of the cut slopes. The project requires many design exceptions that will result in more accidents, deaths and truck spills.
Caltrans District 1 disregards design guidelines for public safety, and is willing to allow a faulty narrow winding road to carry STAA trucks, a road that already has a poor safety record. STAA traffic will jeopardize the health and beauty of a Wild and Scenic River, greatly increasing the risk of truck spills, and risking the water quality of endangered salmonid habitat, as well as Crescent City’s only drinking water.
Please ask responsible elected officials and the CTC to rescind support for STAA truck access based upon information submitted by EPIC and Friends of Del Norte regarding the DEIR.
Please request careful review of expert testimony by Smith Engineering, regarding engineering safety issues, and testimony by Mara Feeney, a planning consultant with 35 years experience. Their professional review confirms safety hazards will result in significantly more accidents, and will jeopardize the water quality of the Smith River. Testimony is available from the Caltrans District 1 office, or EPIC: