Loans let roadwork continue


SACRAMENTO (AP) Highway construction throughout the state, threatened with shutdown next week because of the late budget, will continue without interruption thanks to a temporary finance agreement between contractors and local government.

The possibility of a shutdown had cast uncertainty on the East Sonora Bypass Project and construction on a new Highway 4 passing lane near Arnold last week.

"We are still full-go on all our projects right now," said Caltrans spokesman Robert Spradling of projects in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

On Friday, Jeff Morales, director of Caltrans, said 200 highway projects were facing shutdown today because his agency lacked the money to pay contractors. But work will continue, at least for now, because local transportation officials have agreed to lend the state cash to keep things going and a number of contractors have agreed to work without pay.

Gov. Gray Davis said the finance plan is just temporary and that the Legislature needs to approve a budget.

''We've devised an emergency plan to keep virtually all of the existing projects going for the next several days,'' he said. ''I call on the Legislature to act immediately to pass a budget. Every day we're seeing more and more real-world consequences of the Republicans' intransigence.''

Morales said a lot depends on how long contractors are willing to go without getting paid.

Only a week ago, Davis announced the state was in the process of notifying contractors working on more than $6.7 billion in road improvements that the stalled budget negotiations would mean Caltrans would be unable to pay its bills after yesterday.

The prime contractor on the $70 million bypass project, Goodfellow Bros. Inc., committed last week to continue work even if payments from the state were halted.

However, R.M. Harris Co., the contractor handling bridge and overpass construction for the project, wasn't so certain. Company President Dave Harris said he would hold off making a decision on whether to continue until state funding stopped.

The bypass project, which began in late 2001, is designed to reduce congestion on Highway 108.

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday October 28, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
This is not horse play


Tuolumne County Animal Control on Wednesday hosted the Animal Technical Rescue First ... more

Residents complain about cultivation enforcement


Residents of El Rancho Loma Serena Homeowners Association said they believe Calaveras ... more

Columbia Elementary gets an interim leader


The Columbia Union School Board Tuesday hired Diane Dotson as interim superintendent-principal. ... more

All Hallows Fantasy Faire


Hundreds of people of all ages, costumed and non-costumed, attended the eighth ... more

New oak disease spreads from coast to foothills


A deadly fungus killing oak trees along the coasts of central and ... more