Received the following comment on the website this week:
“What Caltrans and Inyo County want people to believe is that it’s [Highway136 through Keeler around the backside of Owens Lake] flooded or washed out.
The truth is; it’s not flooding or washed out nor is the water undermining the road or bridge. It’s still open to Caltrans and DWP via a locked chain across the road.
The highway closure is putting undue hardship on southeast Inyo County communities. What was 15 miles to go to Lone Pine is now 50 miles [through Olancha via Highways 190 and then 395]. 136 is not a major tourist route. And yet there are no plans to open it in the near future. People may lose jobs and struggle paying bills when half a paycheck goes towards gas. A 100 mile round trip to Lone Pine to get to work that used to be 30 miles.
Our county officials don’t plan on doing anything to ease our burden. My sense of why and only my opinion is that it’s all about money and how to get more funding is to close roads that are not affected by flooding but still getting money to repair them. I have video and pictures of 136 as of now and can show how water is not and has not affected the integrity or safety of the highway. We need your help to get answers and to get 136 reopened.”
This was Caltrans’ response from Public Information Officer Christine Knadler:
“Following this year’s historic snowfall, Caltrans has been working with multiple agencies in Inyo and Mono counties to message the public and prepare crews for a monumental spring and summer runoff. The closure on State Route 136 is essential for the controlled release of runoff through the Owens Valley and into Owens Lake. The highway has been closed between Lone Pine and Dolomite Loop Road since May 31 because the runoff has impacted the highway at multiple locations within a one-mile stretch. Caltrans engineers and maintenance supervisors have documented several areas of damage. As safety is Caltrans primary goal, the undercutting and saturation of the underlying roadbed is likely to result in pavement failures with regular vehicle travel.
The reopening of State Route 136 is dependent on the completion of this year’s runoff. Once the runoff has ceased for the season, Caltrans will inspect the roadway and perform any necessary safety repairs before the highway can reopen. As of right now, there is no estimated time for when the highway will reopen.”
When I asked Inyo County District Five Supervisor Matt Kingsley about 136, he said he suggested the following to Caltrans as a happy medium:
“Escort local traffic when the road is dry for two hours every morning and afternoon. Saves hours of driving for residents of a disadvantaged community.”
And from Hartley’s desk, leading into a climate cartoon, as scientists say the Earth topped its hottest day ever recorded on three consecutive days.
“There is something to be said about living in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in the Kitsap County Area. That something is … it sucks. Still raining well into late June and early July. Still putting on a jacket to leave the house in the morning or late evening. And on top of that, you still have to ask yourself, what day can I mow the lawn? Sun coming out Wednesday. Gotta take off early to mow the lawn before more rain. Take the kayak out which day? Tuesday, the only sunny day next week. Burn some more leaves? Weekend … rain. Golf … forgetaboutit. This place is a grind. It wasn’t raining the other day. 58 degrees and overcast all day. So I had to endure all the plaidwearingmosslovingsunhatingtrolls commenting on how nice it was out.