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Lock the Entrance? 


Before I can get behind a Caltrans project to combat sea level rise and protect U.S. Highway 101 between Eureka and Arcata, I need to know why another alternative won't work ("Racing the Rise," Nov. 11). Under the current plans I have seen, a myriad of private parties and public agencies each need to fix their part. For instance, along Jacobs Avenue, if Carl Johnsons raises their section of the levee but U-Haul doesn't do theirs, they both get flooded, as does Murray Field and 15 other businesses. Going up the feeder streams to the bay and along its shoreline, there are probably 100 miles of shoreline in danger. Is everyone going to fix their own? I doubt it!

What I think should be looked at is a shipping and tidal lock system at the entrance to the bay. One half-mile installation holding back the higher ocean waters would negate the need to fix all of the individual problems around the bay. Except you have to worry about water coming up the Mad River estuary, but that is solvable. Will it work? I don't know. But if it won't, I would like someone to say that it was looked at and why it won't work.

Also, everyone is looking at the high tide. I have never seen the mention of the low tide rising. If the low tide rises to 7 feet, Murray Field cannot drain unless pumps are used. A large pump may be needed at the "entrance lock" also.

John Murray, Arcata

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