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Matthew Hedger
07/03/2014 8:07 AM

Highway Patrol to conduct DUI checkpoint Saturday

A sobriety checkpoint will be set up on Highway 49, somewhere within the city limits of Jackson, on Saturday, July 5. Amador-area CHP Acting Commander Sergeant Dan Lopez said the checkpoint will be staffed by both CHP and officers from the Jackson Police Department. “Each year, members of our community are needlessly maimed or killed on our roads,” he said. “Our goal is to insure the safe passage of each and every motorist by targeting roads where there is a high frequency of drunk driving. By publicizing our efforts, we believe that we can deter motorists from drinking and driving.” Lopez said, traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked. “Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can expect to be arrested and spend the night in the county jail,” he warned.

Caltrans certifies stretch of Highway 49 as STAA

Caltrans has certified a 9.8-mile segment of Highway 49, from Highway 88 to Highway 16, as a “Surface Transportation Assistance Act” highway. The designation means the roadway is open to wider trucks that previously had to travel longer routes to reach their destinations. Caltrans conducted a field review to assure that recent road improvements would accommodate the STAA trucks, before recommending the installation of signs. These commercial trucks are 8 feet, 6 inches wide, compared with the federal maximum of 8 feet prior to the passage of the STAA in 1982. Eastbound STAA trucks on Highways 16 and 88 could go no farther than the Highway 49 intersection prior to the improvements, but now this stretch of Hwy. 49 is a connecting route for the two highways. The Amador County Transportation Commission said the increased access will encourage economic development. Caltrans’ completion of the Sutter Creek Bypass in 2007 had a role in opening Hwy. 49 to larger trucks. It eliminated the narrow roads and S-shaped turns that had restricted truck access, re-directing traffic off city streets and onto the four-mile expressway. Prior to the bypass, Highway 49 cut through Sutter Creek and Amador City. The two-lane highway, much of it less than 25 feet wide with gravel shoulders, was often congested during commute and holiday periods. The current highway is 40 feet wide in all but a few segments, and features paved shoulders, helping it accommodate the wider trucks that were approved as part of the STAA legislation. Caltrans recently completed improvements to the intersection of Highways 49 and 16, including cutting back the raised median and adding shoulder width.

Bigelow and Berryhill to visit Amador on July 18

Senator Tom Berryhill and Assemblymember Frank Bigelow will visit the Amador Centers for Higher Learning July 18 beginning at 1:30 p.m. They are expected to begin their tour at the Health and Human Services building on Conductor Blvd and conclude at the Amador County Transit Center at 117 Valley View Way, both in Sutter Creek. Members of the Amador Community College Foundation Board will conduct a tour of both facilities and showcase the business, community and college partnerships that currently help provide over 100 choices in certificate and degree programs for Amador County residents. For more information, call 482-1369 or visit amadorcommunitycollege.org.

More drought data released by State

The most recent update of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains shows levels at 0% of normal. Although snow patches can be seen at the highest elevations, snowpack that accumulated over the winter has already melted and flowed into California’s rivers and reservoirs. However, reservoir levels throughout the state remain low. Regionally, reports indicate that Lake Don Pedro is at 50% of capacity, Folsom Lake at 49%, New Melones at 30%; New Hogan at 24%, Pardee at 88%, and Lake Camanche at 34%. The total reservoir capacity across the state is now at just a little above 56%. For more drought information, visit drought.ca.gov.

Local Bus Service Offers Help to Transport Youths

Amador Transit is again offering a “Summer Break Youth Bus Pass” for kids aged 6 to 17. For $40, kids get unlimited rides on all local routes, and a reduced fare of only $3 on the Sacramento Express route, until Aug. 10. Amador Transit is also going to the Amador County Fair this year, including evening service Thursday through Sunday. The fair service is included with the Summer Break pass. Call 267-9395 for more information, or visit amadortransit.com

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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