EL CENTRO – For years The Imperial County Sheriff’s office have received requests from citizens who own property adjacent to the Highway 86 bridge over the New River to cleanup underneath it and move the transients out of the area.
As with all citizens request for assistance, the issue was investigated and investigated over and over again, but to no avail, the problem was never fixed. The problem had gotten so bad that it became not only just a trash and transient issue, it became an environmental issue. Structures had been erected underneath and around the edges of the bridge and human waste was everywhere.
Finally, in April, 2013 a herculean effort was put forth by the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, the State of California Caltrans Office, and Imperial County Environmental Health.
The combined efforts of the cleanup netted 90 cubic yards of waste, or 9 semi-truck sized dump truck loads, to put it in perspective.
The cleanup took several days, and was carried out by personnel from the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office that consisted of a Deputy, Correctional Staff, and an inmate work crew.
Caltrans provided heavy equipment and hand tools, as well as the equipment operators and personnel to work under the bridge.
Now that the bridge has been cleaned, the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work with Caltrans to ensure these encampments do not gain another foothold.