Hidden freeway costs revealed: Willits Bypass 50 percent more expensiv

KGO – excerpt (includes video)

ABC7 News has learned a controversial freeway project that Caltrans claimed cost $300 million actually cost $460 million, 50 percent more than the agency told the public.


Documents obtained by ABC7 News show Caltrans has been giving out the wrong total cost figures for the Willits Bypass on Highway 101 in Mendocino County for the past five years.

The new freeway opened last November. It is 6 miles long, with two major overpasses, designed to route cars and trucks around a traffic bottleneck in the tiny town of Willits.

Willits Mayor Gerry Gonzalez is glad to see it finally finished. “Getting commercial truck traffic off of Main Street and making it a safer community is important,” he said.


No offense, but how much safety can we afford? What percentage of our taxes is going into “safety projects?”

$460 million so far, (we are told will go higher), for 8 miles of highway overpass? That is $57K dollars a mile before they finish the mitigations. We could do a lot more with that 460 million dollars than build an overpass for a small town. Someone must already be planning a new development off the freeway.