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Anyone driving between Arcata and Eureka over the past couple weeks has likely noticed the assorted stumps left behind from freshly chopped trees on the east side of Hwy. 101 near the Indianola Cutoff.
Approximately 75 trees, including pine, spruce, cypress, cottonwood and alder, have been removed in preparation for construction of a new undercrossing, one of the final components of a major redesign of the six-mile stretch of freeway between the two coastal cities.
“The project, which will see the Indianola Cutoff run underneath a slightly elevated U.S. 101, is intended to reduce collisions and save lives,” Caltrans spokesman Myles Cochrane tells the Outpost via email.
All of the removed trees were in the project’s construction zone, he added.
For anyone mourning the loss, know this: Caltrans intends to mitigate the impact onsite by planting 2.5 trees for every one that’s been removed.
Construction activity will begin in earnest in June.
“In the first phase of the project, northbound 101 traffic will be detoured inland as folks will see crews installing fill and constructing an embankment with columns,” Cochrane said. “In the second phase, southbound traffic will be detoured inland while undercrossing work remains ongoing.”
We’re not talking about major detours. Cochrane said the re-routes will “a slightly larger-scale version” of what southbound motorists encountered during the construction of a new Jacoby Creek Bridge last year.