Oakdale’s City Council on Monday night voted 4-0 in favor of their preferred alternative for the North County Corridor Project.
“The preferred alternative was 1B; that’s the one that runs closest to the city,” said City Manager Bryan Whitemyer. “It is the one that impacts the least number of homes, the least number of businesses.”
Whether or not it is the route ultimately selected remains to be seen.
“It is a big decision, although the City Council is not the lead agency, we do have our preferred alternative,” Whitemyer added.
He noted that 1B is also about $11 million less costly than Alternative 2B.
Caltrans is the lead agency on the North County Corridor Project and recent public hearings, including one hosted earlier this month at the Gene Bianchi Community Center, have gathered input and provided plenty of information for residents on the potential impacts of the different alternatives.
Whitemyer said the council also wants to make sure the city goes on record with questions and concerns about the Environmental Impact Report.
The comment period on the EIR for the North County Corridor project is currently open, and Whitemyer said city staff has reviewed the EIR.
“We want to look at a variety of things,” he said of putting together the letter for submission on the environmental report. “The city desires to provide comment to Caltrans.”
The vote on the preferred alternative was 4-0 at the Sept. 18 session; councilman Tom Dunlop had to recuse himself from the vote. He is a partner in a business that could be impacted by one of the alternatives and so did not cast a vote on the issue.
Whitemyer said he anticipates it could take “up to a year” for an agency review of all the comments submitted on the EIR and a formal selection of the route is also still a long way off.
But with the council giving the nod to their preferred alternative, he said that does send a message to lead agency Caltrans.
“It is a big deal,” he said.