Saturday, June 3, 2023

What Is Up With That Fence Being Built Along Highway 101 Near Ukiah?


The fence along Highway 101 in Ukiah [All pictures by Matt Lafever]

Though seemingly innocuous, an ongoing construction project along Highway 101 between two major Ukiah arteries has many readers asking, “what exactly is going on?” Well, you asked, and we got some answers. 

Starting this summer, Caltrans has been installing a black, mesh fence along both the north and southbound lanes of Highway 101 between Ukiah’s Perkins Street and North State Street exits. The project has caused periodic lane closures, and minor traffic delays becoming an expected nuisance for thousands of commuters. 

Caltrans District 1 Public Information Officer Manny Machado told us this new fencing is replacing “existing right-of-way” fencing that has reached the end of its service life.” Before the project began, the original fencing installed in the 1960s “had several separations due to vandalism,” Machado explained. 

In January 2022, Machado said, “an emergency project was issued to help improve the safety of pedestrians walking adjacent to the fencing from the northern intersections of Perkins Street to the Orrs Creek Bridge and north of Orrs Creek.”

On top of the installation of the new fencing, Macado told us the project, “will include slope paving under the Orrs Creek Bridge and the Talmage Street Overcrossing.”

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Machado provided us with a document entitled “No Cut, No Climb, See Through Roadway Fence” that included detailed blueprints and an overview of the project. 

The document reveals the fence is a product of Cochrane Global called the “Clear Vu Invisible Wall”. A brochure on the company’s website highlights the fence’s unique features including the wire mesh being too narrow for potential vandals to fit wire cutters. This also makes the mesh too thin to accommodate the fingers of potential climbers. Another layer of security on the fencing is the formidable castle spikes along the top of the fencing.

By the completion of the projection, 2,500 feet of the “invisible wall” will run alongside the northbound lane and 1800′ along the southbound.


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  1. Lol! But what is it FOR? The answer is to mitigate the amount of transients comming into the new housing developments.

  2. Maybe they should convert the baseball fields into an all hands on deck homeless emergency family shelter with services galore. Is this not an emergency? What do we need, more places for people of privilege to play ball sports or a homeless epidemic center? Build a fence and now babies will die on the other side instead of the center of town

  3. What a waste of money! Fix the damn roads! Who’s brilliant idea was this to waste money and who’s in bed with this company! Stop this useless waste of taxpayers money! OMG!!!

  4. Why do we need the “invisible wall”? Are there more legitimate infrastructure projects to finance? 2 quick questions off the top of my head. Are you all trying to keep homeless from crossing the freeway? This project is asinine in my head until my real questions are answered… I don’t care how the fence is constructed. I want to know why.

  5. The real reason for the project is that the local unhoused population made a home under the bridge. They were quite industrious and moved large rocks to create a path across the creek then excavated around the piers and abutments jeopardizing the safety of the whole overpass structure. That is why the project is an emergency. Caltrans will install larger rocks,
    paving on the slopes, and an impenetrable fence to ensure public safety.

  6. Looks like California is building trump’s wall after all…only on the inside. The stark difference between the haves and the have nots is most apparent in here than anywhere else in the nation

  7. Instead of spending two million dollars on a fence with CASTLE SPIKES to keep the people from having a place to go, maybe they should use the money for housing the homeless and they wouldn’t have to worry about it. That fence with CASTLE SPIKES leaning Inwards is being built for more then just replacing the fence !

    Maybe they should think about opening another winter shelter, or a place for safe parking for people and families that don’t have anywhere to park and sleeps at night time.

    They complain about the homeless people but they are not doing a damn thing about it ! The article said that they are going to make it sloped under bridge, so where are the people that were staying under there suppose to go ?

    What are they supposed to do? Why isn’t there another shelter? Why isn’t there a community center any more? There are several people still unhoused, what is being done to help them?

    WHERE ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO GO NOW ? Building Bridges it’s not open to the public anymore. They can’t sleep in public without getting an illegal camping ticket , people have to sleep ! So what are they supposed to do now ?

    Half of the price of that fence would of housed everybody that don’t have a place!

    Get your priorities straight Mendocino county !!

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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