Judge Sides with Tree Huggers Over Highway-Widening Project

The California Department of Transportation must reassess how its planned road-expansion project along Highway 101 could truly harm the surrounding redwood trees, a judge ruled.

Environmental groups filed a lawsuit last week in San Francisco, hoping to stop Caltrans from widening the two-lane highway through Richardson Grove State Park, which currently prohibits big-rig access. The park is filled with many millennia-old redwood trees, some over 300 feet tall.
Excessive tree growth, which has cut the road to only 22 feet wide in some areas, has forced San Francisco trucks bound for Eureka to take a 446-mile detour — and that's exactly why Caltrans wants to quickly widen the highway. However, such a project could have a negative affect on the majestic redwoods, but we wouldn't know, because Caltrans has done a shoddy job of determining those impacts, according to U.S. District Judge William Aslup.

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