Reopen the dam road

Richard Frankhuizen is a Folsom resident and congressional candidate in the 3rd District

Closing Folsom Dam Road has had huge negative effects on the citizens of the immediate region. We’ve heard stories of possible threats, and we recognize security is important. However, no airports, buildings, bridges or other infrastructures that we depend on have been shut down, and for Folsom residents, the road is no different.

Terrorism has not damaged Folsom Dam, but with the closure of the road, the terrorists have succeeded in inhibiting our lives. Since the road’s closure, we have experienced: gridlocked traffic, additional traffic accidents, decreased local business revenues, emergency vehicles being constrained by the increased traffic, and worsened air quality due to a large number of cars idling longer. The bottom line is that the quality of life here has been affected.

The Bureau of Reclamation is performing an environmental impact study, due to be released in the summer of 2004, with the final version complete in 2005. We citizens are now subject to the delays of these environmental processes and policies. Decisions that support the citizens and the community need to be made. The government does not exist to serve itself; it serves the people, and until we actively participate in the process, we will suffer.

As citizens, we can participate and make a difference even in the face of insurmountable obstacles. We can begin by contacting the Bureau of Reclamation and our elected representatives to express our concerns. John W. Keys III, the commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior, is responsible for making a decision based on this study.

Citizens can speak out at a public meeting this evening, May 27, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the West Room at Folsom Community Center, located at 52 Natoma Street in Folsom. Those who can’t make the meeting should submit written comments by June 10 to the Bureau of Reclamation, Central California Area Office, 7794 Folsom Dam Road, Folsom, CA 95630.

We need to contact our elected representatives and Keys in a constructive manner, telling them about the impact the road’s closure has on the quality of life here in Folsom, Granite Bay and El Dorado Hills. Request that the road be open during daytime hours. Until the new bridge is built, we need access to Folsom Dam Road.