People around town are talking about how fast the Walmart store is being built. Once Walmart overcame those environmental impact studies, a plethora of permits and other red tape, it looks as if the store will be finished soon. Right now, it's 20 percent complete and is expected to open in late summer of 2019.
Give this same job to some state agency and the work on Walmart would be stretched out for years with unimaginable cost overruns to boot. In the meantime, that bypass job at Kramer Junction, east of Boron, is 50 percent complete and congestion there will be alleviated in 2020.
Caltrans planners at District 9 in Bishop are developing a "Project Initiation Document" for a third truck-climbing lane from General Beale Road to Tehachapi. This document will be completed in June 2019, but no PID is needed to tell us or thousands of truck drivers that we need that third truck-climbing lane right now.
Caltrans gets the lion's share of the state budget each year in California, yet it takes an act of congress to get the ball rolling on any highway project in California. Caltrans and our state leaders need to quit stalling, cut through the red tape and approve that truck-climbing lane.
Us motorists and most of our commerce travel on roads. Why not spend our tax dollars on highway projects, rather than blow billions on that quixotic high-speed rail project that no one will use for decades?
Dennis Tope, Tehachapi