Positive news about unimproved Highway 173

Dec 8, 2022 | Local

All members of the Lake Arrowhead MAC – Ken Stowe, Michelle Ambrozic, Jim Grant, Jenny Hueter and Peter Venturini – were present at the Dec. 1 meeting. (Photos by Mary-Justine Lanyon)

Scott Rindenow reported on his communications with Caltrans about repairing and reopening the unimproved portion of Highway 173.

Positive news about unimproved Highway 173

By Mary-Justine Lanyon

The ad hoc committee exploring the possibility of repairing and opening the unimproved section of Highway 173 received some positive feedback from Caltrans.
That was the report from Scott Rindenow, who chairs the committee. He had sent a letter to Caltrans, explaining the need for that portion of the highway to be reopened.
“We need another way off this mountain when there is blockage on the other highways,” Rindenow said.
He received a response from Emily Leinen, the Caltrans chief external affairs liaison, on the day of the Lake Arrowhead Municipal Advisory Council meeting, Dec. 1.
“She said she was thankful to get the letter,” Rindenow said. “And she explained they (Caltrans) are in the process of investigating that section of Highway 173 and determining on their end what needs to be done.”
The hope, Rindenow added, is for the ad hoc committee – which also includes Ken Stowe, Jenny Hueter and Henry O. Johnson – and Caltrans to get together in January.
“She gave us a good idea of what they are doing to prepare for the meeting. A field trip has been suggested. We hope to get it in before the weather changes drastically,” Rindenow said. He is thinking of putting together a PowerPoint presentation, which would be more of a “visual explanation of why this needs to be done.
“There’s a bit of persuasion and explanation that needs to be done,” Rindenow said. “It’s really positive.”
Lt. Craig Harris of the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station told the Lake Arrowhead MAC that their snow patrol is ready “for when the white stuff flies.” He reminded everyone to lock their cars and to keep track of any packages delivered to their porches. “It’s shopping season for thieves,” he said.
Lewis Murray, who has been 2nd District Supervisor Janice Rutherford’s field representative, said he will make the switch on Dec. 17 from working for Supervisor Rutherford to working in the same position for 3rd District Supervisor Dawn Rowe, who will now represent the Rim communities.
“Janice has been very touched by the outpouring of support,” Murray said. “She asked me to thank everyone.”
MAC member Ken Stowe raised the issue of the intersection of Highway 173 and North Bay Road. “I don’t know why Caltrans doesn’t listen to the MAC and others in the community and put a four-way stop there,” Stowe said, noting there had just been another accident there.
Jim Grant, the MAC president, suggested that Murray ask Caltrans to do a traffic study of the area. “They may need to look at reports other than accident reports,” Grant said. “I would also like a follow-up on our conversation about Highway 138. Their perception was there was one incident a year.”
Rindenow added that “it seems like a no-brainer it should be a four-way stop.”
“I think we’ll be keeping Caltrans busy,” Grant quipped.


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