A ribbon-cutting held at the Tehachapi Loop Overlook site Monday brought to a close a successful four-year project to upgrade the century-old viewing site. Safety was a major consideration as the original viewing area was narrow and right on the shoulder of the westbound lanes of Woodford Tehachapi Road.

With the increasing number of viewers from around the world and the growth in bus tour groups stopping to watch the trains as they work their way up and down the Tehachapi Mountain, it became obvious that a safer viewing area had to be developed.

Enter current Friends of the Tehachapi Depot Vice President Keith Sackewitz, who four years ago proposed finding funding to build a safer viewing site.

With hard work and determination, Sackewitz was able to get the city of Tehachapi and Kern County on board for the project. Second District Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner was contacted and he asked his local area representative, Laura Lynne Wyatt, to tackle the project. She and FOTD members got local business leaders interested, who then came on board to help the project.

A committee was formed and a fundraising effort started. Local businesses and individuals donated funds and materials for the project. Plans were drawn up and Griffith Construction awarded a contract to carve out an area along side the road for the construction of a permanent viewing platform.

Officially completed last week, a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony was held on the site. Following the dedication, a post thank you party was held at the Tehachapi Railroad Depot where thank you gifts were given out to many of the commercial donors and public officials.