Save Our Little Lake Valley (SOLLV) is dedicated to stopping the Caltrans Bypass of Willits. We advocate traffic solutions that are not economically and ecologically destructive of the Willits Valley. We do this through education, legislative work, and legal work.
The Caltrans Bypass is a project that will route Highway 101 around the town of Willits for $300 million taxpayer dollars. The project is unnecessary, wastes taxpayer funds, destructive of natural resources, and better alternatives are available.
(1) The Project is Unnecessary. The growth factors and traffic projections underlying Caltrans Bypass proposal are seriously flawed and out-dated. Traffic volumes have remained absolutely flat over at least the past 20 years. Population growth in this region is also nearly flat. Traffic volumes just north of Willits (which will continue to be adequately handled on a two-lane highway) average 8,000 vehicles per day. Even if we experienced some modest growth in population and traffic over the next 20 years, we would not reach volumes that justify a 4-lane freeway for many decades, if ever.
(2) The Project Wastes Taxpayers Funds: Phase I of this proposed project, which completes only two lanes of the eventually-planned 4-lane freeway, is slated to cost $210 million. After including interest on use of bond funding, the cost will be at least double. Factoring in likely 20% cost-overruns, the true cost is closer to a half billion dollars! For only a 2-lane half-a-freeway, the cost per mile is estimated to be about four times the cost of average freeways elsewhere in California. There are better ways to spend the funds than for an unneeded Bypass in the small town of Willits.
(3) The Project is Destructive of Natural Resources: The project will have irreversible adverse impacts on farmland, wetlands and unique and endangered habitats in Little Lake Valley. The project entails the largest wetland fill in northern California in over 50 years. It will install 55,000 “wick drains” to dewater and compact fill areas, with unknown impacts on valley hydrology, wells, and flooding. It puts 2,000 acres of farmland under Caltrans management, taking at least 400 acres out of production.
(4) Better Alternatives Are Available: We believe there are sound alternative proposals to improve traffic flow through the Willits Highway 101 corridor at significantly less cost, freeing up the bulk of transportation funding for projects of demonstrably greater need in California. Voters, taxpayers and motorists deserve to have our limited transportation monies allocated where the need is greatest, and in a responsible manner.
For more information on the pending legal case against the bypass, please visit our Backgroundpage.
The current situation
For the latest information and news from SOLLV on the Willits Bypass, please visit our Latest Updates section.
Now is the time to act! Click here to see the many ways you can support the movement towards a better bypass.