Consequences to the bypass?

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I am a resident of Willits in Mendocino County, which is currently having a bypass built around it.  The bypass has been talked about for 50 years, in the planning stage for 20 years.  We currently share our Main Street with Highway 101. It is a bottleneck.

Recently, I needed to make a trip to Auburn.  Preferring country driving, I took Highway 20 to the Marysville/Yuba City area, then took 70 South, hooking up with Highway 65.  I have gone this way before and was surprised to find out that Lincoln had been bypassed.

The bypass Caltrans is building around Willits is very controversial with certain people.  We have a very active environmental center, who participated in the community discussions with Caltrans leading up to the building of the bypass. 

The environmentalists didn’t get what they wanted, I guess, so have been up in arms since construction began. They called in Earth First.  These activists have been chaining themselves to equipment, sitting in trees, carrying signs, filing lawsuits.  All to stop a state project already begun.  These demonstrations have resulted in around-the-clock protection of the construction site by California Highway Patrol, leading to significant costs and obstructions but not the halting of construction.

The reason I am writing this letter is that when I returned from my trip to Auburn, I was curious as to what Lincoln’s experience had been with their bypass.  So I Googled terms such as Lincoln, bypass, environmental damage, protests, controversy, economic problems.  I could find nothing indicating that the Lincoln bypass was at all a controversial in the Lincoln community. 

I am interested to know from Lincoln citizens, business owners, government officials, etc., what Lincoln’s experience has been with being bypassed. 

Have there been environmental catastrophes as a result of the bypass being built?  Die-offs of wildlife? Flooding where there wasn’t flooding before?  Has the Lincoln economy been in a terrible state since the bypass was built, with stores having to shutter, loss of jobs?

I am including my email and snail mail addresses, asking Lincoln citizens to communicate with me about their experience with the bypass.  Before the bypass, during construction, after the bypass was built.  Please write me.  I am really interested in knowing.

Thank you.

Jeanne King, Willits