Highway 299 east of Cedarville is showing the effects of heavy truck traffic
Ruby - Don't Take Your Pipes Through Town
Residents and business owners in Cedarville can expect to see at least 1,400 trucks using County Road 1 -- the town’s main street -- for a 30-day period as sections of 80-foot-long pipe and materials for the Ruby Pipeline are transported from Gerlach to Vya.
The trucks are being routed through Surprise Valley instead of using Nevada State Route 34 because of threats to air quality, according to a spokesman for El Paso Corporation, the parent company of Ruby Pipeline.
“Because of extremely dry weather on the original routing and the dust conditions, our alternatives are limited,” Ruby Pipeline spokesman Richard Wheatley told the Modoc Independent News.
“Our permitting with the state of Nevada does not allow us to generate such a high volume of dust and the cost for dust suppression, water and chemicals, is estimated at $20,000 per mile,” Wheatley explained. “We must stay in compliance with our permits in Nevada.”
Rockford Corporation, the company contracted to work in the Vya area, will be laying 42 miles of pipe at 70 joints of pipe per mile for a total of 2,800 joints or sections. At two sections per truck that amounts to 1,400 trips on CR 1 and California State Route 299 east to the Nevada state line, according to Wheately.
Wheatley said El Paso Corporation is aware of the community’s concerns about traffic and the impact on local roads.
“We are coordinating with local officials, but without any available alternatives we’re looking at 30 days of truck traffic through Cedarville,” Wheately said, adding that Rockford representatives recently met with the Modoc County road department to discuss the impact of increased truck traffic.
Because Modoc County Road Department offices are closed on Fridays no one was available to answer a media query. It is not known if the county has set any conditions mitigating the trucks’ impact on county roads.
“The last thing we want is to not be a good neighbor,” said Wheatley. “We will do everything in our power to minimize impacts to Modoc County and its citizens. When we walk away we will not leave the roads in bad condition. We understand the community’s concern.”
Several months ago Supervisor Dan Macsay, sounding at the time like a spokesman for Ruby Pipeline rather than a county official concerned with road conditions, told members of the Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce that Ruby Pipeline trucks loaded with pipe would be traveling up Nevada State Route 34. While over enthusiastic, Macsay was correct.
But on Wednesday, Sept. 22 Macsay emphatically told chamber members Ruby Pipeline officials never said they would not haul pipe through California, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Macsay repeated several times that SR 299 from Cedarville to the Nevada state line, “will not be re-done, no one is going fix that road,” according to the source.
-- Barbara March