Fair confusion was bump in road for Airline resurfacing

A worker holds a stop sign as traffic lines up near the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tres Pinos.

Caltrans’ work on Airline Highway the day before this year’s San Benito County Fair ruffled a few feathers, but event organizers worked with the state to resolve the issue before the official start to the four-day run.
Caltrans for weeks has been resurfacing portions of Airline Highway near the Bolado Park fairgrounds. In advance of the fair Oct. 1-4, organizers had been in contact and felt assured the work would stop by that Wednesday before the opening, a busy day for pre-fair activities and setup.
With work continuing into the Wednesday, it caused backups and delays for those involved.
“There was definitely some frustration for folks trying to get to the fair for the livestock show that day or judging,” said Donnette Silva Carter, fair manager.
She said it was “a bit of a surprise” when she arrived at about 7 or 7:30 a.m. that day and saw construction work near the Catholic church in Tres Pinos.
Silva Carter, though, said state representatives were cooperative. Caltrans public affairs was “fantastic” and Reed Sanders from State Sen. Anthony Cannella’s office was helpful, she said. Everybody involved was apologetic, Silva Carter said.
“Somehow, somewhere something didn’t connect like it should have,” she said, adding how the surface on the roadway is “smoother” than before.
From Caltrans’ perspective, the agency had accounted for the four days of the fair but didn’t realize the logistical considerations for Wednesday, said Susana Cruz, Caltrans District 5 spokeswoman. Caltrans had equipment moved to the south of the fairgrounds for the event.
“It wasn’t that we were trying to be insensitive,” Cruz said.

Leave your comments