The recent article about the Interstate 5 expansion through the Santa Clarita Valley is new news to many. However, this project was covered by The Signal in community outreach meetings several times in years 2017-2019.
At those meetings Caltrans and Metro communicated this project was fully funded, plans approved and a bidding process in late-2018 or early-2019 would ensure project start by summer 2019 and completion in 2023. That never materialized and the new articles quote dates of 2021 bidding, project start early 2022 and completion 2026.
I was shocked, so I questioned Metro. Their reply was, “COVID delayed things.”
That excuse is not true and not in the dates of COVID-19. I can’t wait for the next public outreach meeting to ask why and I’m also curious to see if it’s the same stakeholders or a new set of stakeholders. It seems to be a commonplace practice in spending of California taxpayers’ money by “officials” to engage studies, pull funding and then abandon. (Bullet train, I-5 through Burbank, 210 improvements…)
My grief is not just with Caltrans and Metro. I have big disappointment with The Signal, too. It would be a credit to them if they could remember and investigate the reporting they had previously published. Shame on The Signal for not including any of the delay in this project, nor having any recall of previous articles or mention of, and appears to have not done any investigative research and reporting beyond the public service announcement. The journalistic basics of who, what, where, why and when, if The Signal even knew or cared to.
I feel it’s important that that public information is reported with all their related facts and in their entirety. Maybe no one at The Signal today worked there in 2017-2019 or doesn’t remember coming to the public meetings. Maybe there is no way for The Signal to know they covered this then or maybe they think it not important or relevant. I sincerely hope the latter is not true.
Anyone can very easily Google and link to the Metro website and read “fact sheets” about community meetings, progress, and start and completion dates were in fact set back in 2019. The recent article was very shocking to read. It is very easily interpreted by the average citizen that this project and dates is new news and the project commencing as scheduled.
Bad partial reporting, not giving the whole story, in my opinion.