Angels council tackles details of highway bypass

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By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

Tuesdays city council meeting will follow an afternoon workshop on the Highway 4-49 relinquishment agreement and other matters related to the proposed Highway 4 Bypass.

Both the 2 p.m. workshop and the 6 p.m. city council meeting will be held at the Utica Power Authority boardroom on Booster Way, because the Angels Camp Fire Station, where the city council usually meets, will be a polling place.

Both meetings will feature discussion on an agreement between Angels Camp and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to turn over to the city a portion of Highway 4 when Caltrans builds the Highway 4 By-pass around the city.

The afternoon workshop, which is open to the public, is a continuing discussion on that relinquishment agreement between the city and Caltrans.

There are still issues we have not settled, said Mayor Debbie Ponte.

In addition to Ponte, officials expected to be at the workshop include George Dondero from the Council of Governments (COG); Will Kempton, COGs consultant on the relinquishment; Mark Leja, Caltrans District 10 Director; and at least two city council members, including Curley Middleton plans to attend.

When Caltrans builds a bypass, they give you the old highway back and you have to take care of it, Middleton said.

The sticking point with the city is that this highway relinquishment includes a bridge built in 1946, he said.

The city doesnt have the money to do repairs on the bridge, he said. This bridge is the big hangup. Bridges are expensive.

Dondero said the city and Caltrans need to reach agreement if the bypass project is to proceed.

Ponte said shes eager to hear from citizens of Angels Camp. This is a chance to ask questions and discuss the relinquishment, she said.

She said she expected the workshop to last 90 minutes to two hours.

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The Union Democrat
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