The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
March saw the issue of highway access on the northern section of Highway 101 become a problem once again. Back in 2009, a team from the California Moving and Storage Association (CMSA) worked with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to develop a program where Household Goods Carriers could access what had become a prohibited section of Highway 101 north of San Francisco and south of Eureka, which passes through Richardson’s Grove. The Caltrans construction project (with no proposed finish date at this time) required trucks in excess of 65’ to take a “direct alternative route” that bypassed the Richardson Grove section of Highway 101. This detour added hundreds of miles to a trip and included interstate travel. The CMSA proposed that a more reasonable compromise was needed and pushed for the creation of the Interim Access Agreement and Protocol which allowed permitted HHG carriers who comply with the terms of the agreement to use the section of Highway 101 noted above. Thirty-five CMSA member companies originally filed the required information to participate in this program. Currently only a few companies have the required up-to-date information on file with the CHP.
Recently, the CHP stopped allowing any carriers, including our participating members previously granted access to this section of highway. Furthermore, the equipment for accessing the section of highway 101 was decommissioned. Through discussions with the CHP, the CMSA was able to restore the Interim Access Agreement for the benefit of our compliant members. However, the CHP has stated that they will strictly enforce the terms of the agreement and that carriers not following the regulations of the agreement could find any violating equipment decommissioned and even be prohibited from future access. If you are interested in accessing this section of the highway, please review the CMSA’s Interim Access Agreement and Protocol posted in the Member’s Only section of the CMSA website. Be sure to provide the CHP the requested information 72 hours in advance of your travel. The contact information for the CHP is listed in the protocol. I would suggest having it on file now. Additionally we would appreciate you notifying the CMSA of your plans to file in relation to this agreement.
Congratulations to Chairman Pat Longo on his year of service to the Association, job well done! His column covers many of his activities as Chairman but in addition to visits, columns, and leading meetings he was a valuable resource to me and I know that he will remain highly engaged in CMSA issues for many years to come. Thank you for your service, Pat.
On a final note, if you have not signed up for the upcoming, May 2016, CMSA Convention there is still time but don’t wait any longer!
- CMSA Communicator