From the archives: Winters losing her birthright for want of unified effort

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Necessary to bestir ourselves to get straight road to Davis and other desired developments There is grave doubt whether the new county highway between Winters and Davis is going to be laid down to eliminate the many turns in the road. Winters people should not overlook or underestimate the seriousness of this situation. If this road goes down with these six right angle turns in it within the distance of about three miles, it will not only be a ridiculous piece of business but it will can Winters as being ineffectual in her protests for the betterment of things. Not only will we be canned but a mill stone will be hung upon our neck for years to come. There was a meeting of a few of our citizens recently which was held for the purpose of seeing what could be done towards straightening out the many turns in the Winters-Davis road so that the new highway might be put down as nearly straight as it could be. The objections presented against the advisability of attempting to remove the turns in the road have largely been removed. There are a few objections to be removed yet but none that many of us think impossible to be remove. It may be that if this community was thoroughly aroused to the situation, and would get together in an unanimous protest the road could yet be made a road that the people along it, the people at either end of it and the supervisor who lays it down will not be ashamed of. It has not been demonstrated as yet that they efforts we have so far expended had any “kick” to them. We have got to put a kick to our ideas and desires if we expect them to have any attention paid to them. We want enough Winters and Davis people to get behind this move to straighten out this road to put a kick into it. A “kick” will put it across. We are inclined to lay the situation right out so all can see it as it looks to the Express. There is a good deal of difficulty in accomplishing just what is desired in the matter but the prize–or price–is worth the effort. From the way it looks there is in the neighborhood of three-fourths of a mile of highway to be saved by cutting out the many corners and running the road straight to the W.O. Russell corner either from the east line of the Fried or Myklebost place on the present road or else to the east line of what formerly was the Ed. Wyatt place. This layout will cross the property of R. F. Schmeiser, the old Andy McClorey place which is now the property of the Yolo Realty Syndicate which is composed largely of the directors of the Bank of Woodland. It would cut off a small corner of the Henry Hamel place, go diagonally through the Wm. Lillard place and cut across the Julus Oeste place. If the road selected is the Ed. Wyatt corner route it will cross Mrs. Maude Englehart, Mr. Fried, R. F. Schmeiser, Lillard and oeste but will miss the bank piece and the Hamel piece. The Winters-Davis stretch is to be built under the $1,000,000 bond recently voted. District Attorney McDonald has given it as his opinion that the bond fund cannot be spent on any road deviating from the route laid down in the in the bond election notice. The bond election states that the highway between Winters and Davis shall be via the Winters-Davis road. It would seem, then, that this road cannot be straightened under the bond fund. It can be built from the Russell corner to the state highway toward Davis under the bond and it can also be built from the Fried or Wyatt corner to Winters under the bond, leaving the less than three mile stretch between to be straightened and built under the direct tax fund with which it is proposed to complete the whole country system. When the $1,000,000 bond issue was voted it was thought that the cost of construction would be between $12,000 and $15,000 per mile. A combine of which it is said has been arranged among the road builders has boosted the construction cost to $20,000 a mile. The $1,000,000 at $15,000 a mile would have constructed the 74 miles planned to be constructed under the bond issue. But since construction has raised in cost to $20,000 a mile the $1,000,000 is going to build but about 50 miles. Obviously some part of the roads planned to be built out of the bond fund. More of the system will have to be built under the direct tax. Now it is feared that if the road between here and Davis is not built quickly and before it can be straightened the bond money will be all expended on other roads in the country and the Winters-Davis road or the gap left to be straightened will not be built. It is feared even that if bids are called for for the construction of the two ends, leaving the gap, that the bids will be so much higher on account of being in two pieces and a gap between, that the bids will be rejected by the boards of supervisors and the money all spent in other districts, possibly, and there will be no Winters-Davis road under the bond. The Express thinks there is very little merit to this objection. It is presumed that the board of supervisors are men who will expend this bond fund as equitably as possible throughout the county, as it is collected throughout the county. It is not conceivable that they will do otherwise. The supervisors are not going to be unfair to Winters–in fact they have given Winters people assurance on several occasions that Winters will be well treated in this matter of highway. It may take co-operation on the part of the other supervisors with our Supervisor Russell to bring about the desired end, but if that is necessary we feel that the Winters people will be very able to secure this assistance and co-operation. In that case they will not expand the bond fund that rightfully belongs to Winters in any other part of the country, and they will see to it that the road is properly straightened and the matter taken care of it right away. It may occasion some delay in the completion of the Winters-Davis piece of road, but in our opinion it is much more important that the highway be put down right than that it be put down soon. When this road goes down it will be there for years–hundreds of years–and perhaps ages. Our boys in France travelled over roads built by Julius Ceasar nearly 2,000 years ago. Why may we not expect that our roads will last as the old Roman roads have lasted? What will a wait of a year or two amount to when we consider that the roads when down will be there for all time? Haste is of no practical consequence in this matter. Let’s so something right and that we will not be ashamed of in the years to come. And the prize–or price–mentioned above, is surely worth it. As has been figured before, a mile longer road to Davis will be a waste of in the neighborhood of $5,000 annually to the users of the road. Certainly at least half of this travel will be people of the Winters section, which will be an annual waste of $2,000 to $3,000. Think of the mill stone of two or three thousands of dollars hanging upon our necks for the ages to come. This figuring was done on the basis of 10 cents per mile for straightaway travel. An automobile cannot run turns every half mile will make every half mile and get by on 10 cents a mile for the turns strain the car, wear the tires, and a car can almost make two miles on a straightaway road while a car that has to negotiate a turn every half mile will make out one mile. And then there is the element of time. By shortening the road a mile the end of the road is one mile nearer and the time gained in the the straightaway over the crooked road gives another mile in fact which brings the end of the road really two miles nearer for the one mile shorter road. Where there’s a will there’s a way is an old saw that so far as we know has not been forbidden application to road building. If Winters wants this road straightened –wants to be relieved of the impending waste of two or three thousand dollars a year, now is the time to get busy. This is not a job for “George to do.” It’s the business of you, Mr. Reader to make your wishes known some way to the supervisors. Supervisor Russell promised to do what he could to bring about a solution of the problem, and with the unanimous backing of the people of this community he cannot fail.]]>

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