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Author Topic: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project  (Read 3727 times)

pderocco

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Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« on: July 11, 2022, 08:56:10 PM »

https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-9/district-9-current-projects/olancha-cartago-4-lane-project

I noticed that they broke ground for this last month. This project will make US-395 four lanes from Inyokern to Mono Lake.

I don't see any estimated completion date for the Freeman Gulch project along CA-14, but when that's completed, there will be four or more lanes from Los Angeles to Mono Lake.
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Inyomono395

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2022, 11:05:03 PM »

I'm so excited about this project. It is long overdue! I've been watching the progress and watching the residents of Olancha and Cartego fight it for many years. I've made posts in the past about this 4 lane project.
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2022, 01:38:32 AM »

It'll be worth it.
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Quillz

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2023, 06:35:48 PM »

Just came back from a weekend trip to the Eastern Sierra. There is pretty decent progress being made. Can clearly see where the bypass around Olancha/Cartago will go. My understanding is 190 will be extended southwest, which means a short portion of it will also be four-lane divided highway.

Quote
I've been watching the progress and watching the residents of Olancha and Cartego fight it for many years. I've made posts in the past about this 4 lane project.
It's understandable. A bypass will likely take away business. But on the other hand, might relieve traffic because a lot of people aren't stopping there to begin with. There are always pros and cons.

Quote
This project will make US-395 four lanes from Inyokern to Mono Lake.
This will be technically true but you've still got the massive speed drops in Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, and Bishop. Unless all of these are planned to get bypasses, you still get traffic issues.
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pderocco

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2023, 07:32:56 PM »

Quote
This project will make US-395 four lanes from Inyokern to Mono Lake.
This will be technically true but you've still got the massive speed drops in Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, and Bishop. Unless all of these are planned to get bypasses, you still get traffic issues.
Sure, but if you're behind a lumbering Winnebago going 25 in Bishop, you can still pass it at 30.

I recall some talk of a Bishop bypass, although I can't find it online. But it was strangely leaning toward going 3/4 of the way round on the NE side, to provide access to the airport. I find it hard to believe there's enough traffic at that airport to need US-395 to go there.

Anyway, I almost always stop at the Starbucks in Bishop, one of only two on US-395 in California.
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thsftw

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2023, 01:52:40 PM »

Just came back from a weekend trip to the Eastern Sierra. There is pretty decent progress being made. Can clearly see where the bypass around Olancha/Cartago will go. My understanding is 190 will be extended southwest, which means a short portion of it will also be four-lane divided highway.

Quote
I've been watching the progress and watching the residents of Olancha and Cartego fight it for many years. I've made posts in the past about this 4 lane project.
It's understandable. A bypass will likely take away business. But on the other hand, might relieve traffic because a lot of people aren't stopping there to begin with. There are always pros and cons.

Quote
This project will make US-395 four lanes from Inyokern to Mono Lake.
This will be technically true but you've still got the massive speed drops in Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, and Bishop. Unless all of these are planned to get bypasses, you still get traffic issues.

I don't think it is technically true, technically only to the 14 split it will be. The other issue is that 14 goes down to 2 lanes right after 178, but that project is starting up soon too and there will be a 4 lane highway from Mono Lake to LA finally.
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pderocco

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2023, 01:42:54 AM »

Quote
This project will make US-395 four lanes from Inyokern to Mono Lake.
This will be technically true but you've still got the massive speed drops in Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, and Bishop. Unless all of these are planned to get bypasses, you still get traffic issues.
I don't think it is technically true, technically only to the 14 split it will be.
I'm not sure what I should call the split location, if not Inyokern. Leliter? Brown? Bradys? Nobody's heard of those.
The other issue is that 14 goes down to 2 lanes right after 178, but that project is starting up soon too and there will be a 4 lane highway from Mono Lake to LA finally.
That's the Freeman Gulch project I mentioned in my original post. They seem to be taking their sweet time, even though that's probably the most dangerous part of the trip.
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2023, 09:56:23 AM »

Oops: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-05-22/caltrans-indigenous-burial-site

"It didn’t take long for a team of highway archaeologists to mark their first find while searching for buried human remains on an aging stretch of U.S. Highway 395 that cuts along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada range.

"That alone was enough to concern local tribal leaders, but they went on to hit more bones missed by earlier archaeological surveys required to start construction of a $69.7-million Caltrans project to convert 12.6 miles of 395 from a two-lane road to a safer four-lane expressway.

"State and federal laws prohibit public disclosure of information related to the locations of Native American cultural places to reduce their vulnerability to various types of theft, including grave robbing. But as of last week, tribal leaders say, more than 30 tangled human skeletons had been unearthed at the site near the Inyo County community of Cartago, many of them adorned with artifacts: glass beads, abalone shells and arrowheads."
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2023, 07:23:33 PM »

Oops: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-05-22/caltrans-indigenous-burial-site

"It didn’t take long for a team of highway archaeologists to mark their first find while searching for buried human remains on an aging stretch of U.S. Highway 395 that cuts along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada range.

"That alone was enough to concern local tribal leaders, but they went on to hit more bones missed by earlier archaeological surveys required to start construction of a $69.7-million Caltrans project to convert 12.6 miles of 395 from a two-lane road to a safer four-lane expressway.

"State and federal laws prohibit public disclosure of information related to the locations of Native American cultural places to reduce their vulnerability to various types of theft, including grave robbing. But as of last week, tribal leaders say, more than 30 tangled human skeletons had been unearthed at the site near the Inyo County community of Cartago, many of them adorned with artifacts: glass beads, abalone shells and arrowheads."

Big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big oops.

This is why you hire archaeologists and why you make sure they actually know what they're doing?
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Inyomono395

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2023, 08:34:23 PM »

This is gonna alter and delay the entire project. So frustrating! I've been waiting for this section to be four laned for YEARS!
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pderocco

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2023, 12:38:09 AM »

This rankles me. If they found bones of early European settlers, would they reroute the road? Hell no. These bones could be centuries old, or more. Does anyone in the tribes remember who they are?
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Rothman

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2023, 06:57:59 AM »

This rankles me. If they found bones of early European settlers, would they reroute the road? Hell no. These bones could be centuries old, or more. Does anyone in the tribes remember who they are?
Eesh.  Somebody is totally unfamiliar with the historical resources processes...
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skluth

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2023, 11:31:39 AM »

This rankles me. If they found bones of early European settlers, would they reroute the road? Hell no. These bones could be centuries old, or more. Does anyone in the tribes remember who they are?

I couldn't read the article (paywalled). However, this is commonly done for construction in Europe. You may remember the finding of Richard III's remains under a British parking lot; the site was examined and the bones reburied in a different place. It also happens in this country. A quick googling shows this and this and this.
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2023, 02:50:21 PM »

This rankles me. If they found bones of early European settlers, would they reroute the road? Hell no. These bones could be centuries old, or more. Does anyone in the tribes remember who they are?
Eesh.  Somebody is totally unfamiliar with the historical resources processes...

Yeah, to spell this out a little more — it's not about what we think should happen with the bones.

They're not our ancestors' bones. And that's why federal law defers to the Tribes for that.

It's a different set of cultural values, and we've agreed to abide by that. We might not be able to understand it - but we do kinda have to accept it. These are important to the local Tribes. You just can't screw this up and expect to finish your project.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2023, 02:25:49 AM »

So what happens? This project gets canceled because they found some bones? I don’t mean to sound insensitive here even though I am being that way, I don’t mind working with other cultures and respecting their values but at the same time respect needs to be mutual and they need to understand they are inside of a country that has a transportation system that needs to be expanded sometimes.

So I guess my question is what happens next? A change in the alignment? What happens when they find bones there too? This project gets canceled? Or just delayed while they remove the bones? If it’s the latter I’m perfectly fine with that. Then I don’t see why this is a big deal other than it being an inconvenience because we’ve all wanted to see this project finished but in that regard I’ll respect other cultures to have the opportunity to collect these things and move them.
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Rothman

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2023, 06:59:58 AM »



So what happens? This project gets canceled because they found some bones? I don’t mean to sound insensitive here even though I am being that way, I don’t mind working with other cultures and respecting their values but at the same time respect needs to be mutual and they need to understand they are inside of a country that has a transportation system that needs to be expanded sometimes.

So I guess my question is what happens next? A change in the alignment? What happens when they find bones there too? This project gets canceled? Or just delayed while they remove the bones? If it’s the latter I’m perfectly fine with that. Then I don’t see why this is a big deal other than it being an inconvenience because we’ve all wanted to see this project finished but in that regard I’ll respect other cultures to have the opportunity to collect these things and move them.

Up here, a study is done to see what needs to happen.  It's not one-size-fits-all and it does not kill the project.

My previous point was that archaelogical finds that are made during construction are definitely not limited to one particular culture and yes, even old white people's remains trigger the review process.
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skluth

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2023, 10:08:07 AM »

So what happens? This project gets canceled because they found some bones? I don’t mean to sound insensitive here even though I am being that way, I don’t mind working with other cultures and respecting their values but at the same time respect needs to be mutual and they need to understand they are inside of a country that has a transportation system that needs to be expanded sometimes.

So I guess my question is what happens next? A change in the alignment? What happens when they find bones there too? This project gets canceled? Or just delayed while they remove the bones? If it’s the latter I’m perfectly fine with that. Then I don’t see why this is a big deal other than it being an inconvenience because we’ve all wanted to see this project finished but in that regard I’ll respect other cultures to have the opportunity to collect these things and move them.

They will get archeologists and Native authorities to do the excavation and remove any human remains for reburial elsewhere. No idea how long it will delay the project but it's unlikely to cause any rerouting much less canceling the project.
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2023, 01:44:17 PM »

So what happens? This project gets canceled because they found some bones? I don’t mean to sound insensitive here even though I am being that way, I don’t mind working with other cultures and respecting their values but at the same time respect needs to be mutual and they need to understand they are inside of a country that has a transportation system that needs to be expanded sometimes.

So I guess my question is what happens next? A change in the alignment? What happens when they find bones there too? This project gets canceled? Or just delayed while they remove the bones? If it’s the latter I’m perfectly fine with that. Then I don’t see why this is a big deal other than it being an inconvenience because we’ve all wanted to see this project finished but in that regard I’ll respect other cultures to have the opportunity to collect these things and move them.

It becomes a conversation with the Tribes. If CalTrans does this right, they've got enough credibility with the Tribes that the Tribes will work with CalTrans to meet the shared needs of the project, the people of California and the cultural resources of the Tribes.

If CalTrans doesn't have enough credibility built up? This could be a long process that requires a lot of conversations about a lot of other things that the Tribes have had issues with because CalTrans hasn't listened.

It's just important to remember here, these are just fundamentally different value systems. We're all thinking about these from straight capitalist / democratic "How can we pay you / The majority supports this" value systems. And the Tribes look at it, well, each from their own value systems as sovereign nations. At the end of the day, these always go better if CalTrans (or any government) have long, well-established relationships of trust with the Tribes so the Tribes aren't just constantly thinking "how are they trying to screw us now?" or its less insidious cousin, "How could this go wrong?"
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2023, 03:35:44 PM »

^^^ good points. And thanks for the responses. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.
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pderocco

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2023, 02:10:57 AM »

I couldn't read the article (paywalled). However, this is commonly done for construction in Europe. You may remember the finding of Richard III's remains under a British parking lot; the site was examined and the bones reburied in a different place. It also happens in this country. A quick googling shows this and this and this.

Richard III was a king, an historical figure. And the cemeteries were recent enough that some remains in them could be identified. I don't have anything against that. But there has to be a time limit on it. The further into the past you go, the more places on the map you can't build freely, because of some completely anonymous bones that can only be assumed to be distance ancestors of some particular group of people who lives here today. And it's a crap-shoot because you don't know where those places are until you start digging.
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Rothman

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2023, 06:59:30 AM »

I couldn't read the article (paywalled). However, this is commonly done for construction in Europe. You may remember the finding of Richard III's remains under a British parking lot; the site was examined and the bones reburied in a different place. It also happens in this country. A quick googling shows this and this and this.

Richard III was a king, an historical figure. And the cemeteries were recent enough that some remains in them could be identified. I don't have anything against that. But there has to be a time limit on it. The further into the past you go, the more places on the map you can't build freely, because of some completely anonymous bones that can only be assumed to be distance ancestors of some particular group of people who lives here today. And it's a crap-shoot because you don't know where those places are until you start digging.
That's why DOTs employ archaeologists or consultants...
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skluth

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2023, 11:02:31 AM »

I couldn't read the article (paywalled). However, this is commonly done for construction in Europe. You may remember the finding of Richard III's remains under a British parking lot; the site was examined and the bones reburied in a different place. It also happens in this country. A quick googling shows this and this and this.

Richard III was a king, an historical figure. And the cemeteries were recent enough that some remains in them could be identified. I don't have anything against that. But there has to be a time limit on it. The further into the past you go, the more places on the map you can't build freely, because of some completely anonymous bones that can only be assumed to be distance ancestors of some particular group of people who lives here today. And it's a crap-shoot because you don't know where those places are until you start digging.

They didn't know it was Richard III at first. It was just somebody dug up from under a parking lot. My point is this happens fairly frequently, in all sorts of environments, in every country. The other three examples I cited were all in the United States. It happens more with minorities because a) Native Americans were here for thousands of years before us and b) minority cemeteries and settlements were less documented than European settlements through our country's history.

In any case, it rarely ends up with a project being redrawn or cancelled; this isn't wetlands or an ecologically sensitive area with a rare butterfly. The usual course is for the site to be studied which is usually not as long as most studies because there is something to be built. The highway will still be built. I guess we could do it like China where one party rule means that anything that can't be exploited for tourist or political reasons isn't important, but I think we're better than that.
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Quillz

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2023, 03:05:03 PM »

I really don't see a major delay at all. They'll identify the remains, rebury them elsewhere, and construction will continue. Not the first time or the last time something like this has happened. Everyone wins, frankly, because usually that implies an old burial site and it can usually help tribes or any other group learn more about their past.
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pderocco

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Re: Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane Project
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2023, 12:34:10 AM »

I drove past this last Saturday, and traffic at the north end of the project has been moved over to a new roadbed for a couple miles while they replace the old roadbed with something higher. And I just noticed that Google Earth (but not Google Maps) has new imagery that shows the progress as of 9/16. Quite a bit of the southern part has been paved. And contrary to the above posts, it doesn't look like the route has been moved at all, compared to the published planning map from the Caltrans site.
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