The Humboldt County Department of Public Works has completed a preliminary environmental study (PES) which has been approved by Caltrans along with mention of further requirements for "the Jacoby Creek Bridge replacement project" ("Bridging the Divide," May 9). I've always been aware of general bureaucratic processes required for interagency requests, grants and the like. But I have a difficult time seeing anything vague about the word "replacement."
Furthermore, the very first piece of information filled in is a federal project number followed by a "Final Design (Expected Start Date)" of 2014-15.
And if that information isn't troubling enough, then how about the box designated for "Detailed Project Description" which has been filled in with: "The proposed project consists of replacing the existing single-lane covered wooden pony-truss structure with a reinforced concrete structure that has no load limitations."
Supervisor Mark Lovelace has most recently said (on community website Nextdoor Bayside): "THERE IS NO PLAN TO DEMOLISH THIS BRIDGE AND NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE."
I see an extreme disconnect between that and the statements on the PES. I see a serious breach of my trust by engineer Chris Whitworth who met with members of the community on May 7, insisting we were premature with our concerns, and who signed the completed PES just three days later on May 10.
Citizens must communicate their concern for keeping the red covered bridge to Mark Lovelace at email@example.com. I am sure he is in a difficult position unless there is momentum from the public.
Charlotte Dixon, Bayside