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Caltrans Holds East Sonora Bypass Open House

When referring to the new highway construction project starting up again in East Sonora… Do you call it a bypass or an expressway?

Robert Spradling, public information officer with Caltrans says the emphasis on the term bypass is being shifted.

“We are going to be phasing into the terminology expressway, because basically, that´s what these new type of roadways are,” he said Wednesday evening. “They´re not bypasses. They´re not meant to bypass the town. What they´re set up for is to relieve traffic congestion.”

Even after the project is complete, Spradling said the downtown merchant areas of Sonora will still get tourist traffic off the expressway.

According to Iorzua Akuva, East Sonora Bypass project manager, the reason for Wednesday´s open house was to let the public know what to expect during the second construction season of the project.

Large maps were on display for the public to view showing all three stages of the multi-year highway project.

Les Miller, 91, has lived near Hess Avenue for 40 years. He was at the open house to get some information.

“I wanted to know if it was going to do anything to the property,” he said. Miller and his wife live on about five acres of land on Cordilla Avenue, off Hess Avenue. “We´re thinking about selling,” he said.

Residents with Internet access who want to keep tabs on the progress of the new $39.4 million first stage of the East Sonora Bypass can log on to the Caltrans District 10 Web site. The Internet site will be updated on a weekly basis, Spradling said.

The Caltrans spokesman added the Web site will also become a forum for the public to ask questions and get answers about the project.

The Web site will contain a frequently asked questions section, made-up from e-mails to Caltrans about the bypass project, Spradling said.

His e-mail address is: robert_spradling@ca.gov.

The Caltrans District 10 East Sonora Bypass Web site is located at: www.ca.gov/dist10.