Q. Hello Honk: You have been asked this question a few times over the last few years: When will the weigh station along the 91 Freeway reopen? You have explained previously that there have problems because of COVID or subcontractor problems. But it seems that those problems might have been resolved by now. Any clue as to when it might reopen?
– Margaret Nelson, Buena Park
A. You are referring to the wait station, right Margaret?
Because the wait to get it reopened has indeed been long.
That eastbound weigh station out there in Anaheim Hills – where large trucks are to get weighed and sometimes inspected – has had as many stumbles as the Angels.
It closed in February 2020. Its westbound sibling went dark in late 2018, but reopened more than a year ago. Both original facilities were outdated and torn down and re-built.
Nearly a year ago, the major holdup for the eastbound weigh station was signage, a California Highway Patrol sergeant, who oversaw the twin stations, told Honk. The company that was to make a sign that steers in truckers to the scale area was a victim of the pandemic, so another firm was hired and it turned out the mounting where it was to go was rusted, too.
Shipping issues were a problem as well, to get the sign here. Projected opening dates kept getting pushed back.
Then the state let go of the contractor overseeing the entire project.
“(It) was removed from the project for failing to work on the project,” Nathan Abler, a Caltrans spokesman, told Honk in an email. “As a means of protecting the taxpayers from situations where a contractor defaults on its obligations, Caltrans requires a performance bond be obtained by the contractor prior to being awarded the underlying contract.
“Caltrans has notified the bonding company of the default and they are in the process of finding a new contractor to complete this project as well as others,” he said. “Caltrans is in regular communication with the bonding company and is encouraging a prompt resolution to the unfinished work.”
Good news is there isn’t much work left: The signage and smaller tasks.
“Once a replacement contractor is selected, Caltrans expects the project to take two to three months to complete, depending on subcontractor availabilities,” Abler said.
HONKIN’ FACT: Orange County’s public bus system began 50 years ago this past Thursday, Sept. 1, with five leased buses and the system called the Orange County Transit District. The fare? 25 cents. Now there are 500 buses operated by the Orange County Transportation Authority, with the bus division referred to as OC Bus, said Eric Carpenter, an OCTA spokesman. The fare is $2, albeit there are discount programs, including one that allows those 18 and under to ride for free.
To ask Honk questions, reach him at [email protected] He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: ocregister.com/tag/honk. Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk