Construction traffic for the San Clemente Dam removal is now re-routed to completely avoid Cachagua roads. Despite earlier concerns that the change would delay the long-planned project, officials say it’s still on schedule to begin this summer.
California American Water plans to remove the 106-foot dam and reroute the Carmel River around its built-up sediment to address seismic and environmental threats posed by the obsolete structure.
Last fall, residents protested the earlier plan to route construction traffic along Cachagua and Tassajara roads deep in Carmel Valley, saying it could imperil public safety. Many also objected to what they felt was insufficient public notification.
In December, Cal Am announced the access route had been revised. Construction traffic would instead turn off Carmel Valley Road west of San Clemente Drive and follow mostly existing roadways on Cal Am property.
Cal Am spokeswoman Catherine Bowie says the company changed the route in response to Cachagua residents’ concerns, which were echoed by the county Planning Commission.
The commission will consider the permit – the last one Cal Am needs – at its May 8 meeting. Assuming it’s approved, Bowie says, Cal Am expects to stick to its three-year construction schedule.