Most Viewed Stories
County erects signs on Hammonton Road, but won't make repairs
A sampling of quotes by residents and property owners about the ongoing problems with Hammonton Road:
Freda Calvert, longtime resident and road activist: "I hope they choose to do the right thing. People need to access the river. It belongs to the people."
Bill Calvert, property owner and Freda Calvert's ex-husband: "I don't know why they want to close it so bad. It seems to me it's strange the supervisors wouldn't just say, 'Put the road in,' and let it go at that."
Donna Jenkins, nearby resident: "We're not asking for a diamond road. Just fill the hole and fix the potholes."
The long road that is the status of Hammonton Road took another twist in recent days, when Yuba County put up signs along it saying a washed-out section of road is closed, though county officials have never defined the road as part of its system.
A series of powerful storms washed out the road about a mile west of the Parks Bar Bridge; and with "road closed" signs now posted at either side of the destroyed portion, nearby residents said they're confused.
"They keep saying they're not responsible for the road," said Donna Jenkins, who has lived on Hammonton for about six months. "If you're not responsible for it, why are you putting up barriers?"
Yuba County spokesman Russ Brown said the decision by county public works to put up "road closed" signs, along with concrete barriers, is motivated by safety and nothing more.
"At night, without any kind of barrier, people driving could go right into the wash," Brown said.
But the road's status still hasn't changed, he said. Though a court decision upheld in 2002 found the road was public, Yuba County still isn't maintaining, fixing or spending any money on it.
"We're just looking at the immediate threat," Brown said.
To the residents who gathered at the washout site on Tuesday, such a view is shortsighted.
Freda Calvert, a longtime activist on the road's public status, said she gathered more than 100 signatures over the weekend of people who wanted to see the road fixed, as she carried a sign reading: "Keep public road to Yuba Goldfields; Fix Hammonton Road."
Calvert said she and possibly other residents will go to today's county Board of Supervisors meeting to ask for action. Supervisors have previously turned back such requests, citing a lack of money.
"You always gotta have hope and faith," Calvert said.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.