More than 300 pounds of trash and debris attributed to homeless or transient campers was hauled away from beneath Nevada City’s Highway 20/49 bridge Tuesday in a California Department of Transportation cleanup effort.
About half a dozen workers, many of whom wore gear to protect themselves from hazardous materials, spent Tuesday morning on either side of Deer Creek beneath the bridge, where homeless people are known to seek refuge.
Miners’ Trail, which runs from Broad Street to the Pine Street bridge beneath the Highway 49 bridge, cuts through the heart of the homeless haven. Along its path Monday, The Union found countless cigarette butts, food wrappers, bottles of alcohol and boxes of belongings.
While inspecting a site where four sleeping bags were nestled between food and drink bottles, Nevada City Police officers arrested Antoinette Lee Brantley, 29, on suspicion of being under the influence of methamphetamine. It took two officers to haul away Brantley’s bags, boxes and other possessions from beneath the bridge.
According to NCPD’s daily activity logs, a foot patrol officer engaged at least one individual under the bridge at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday regarding the city’s camping ordinance, crafted to clamp down on homeless camping.
Among the 300 pounds of assorted trash materials hauled away Tuesday were sleeping bags, liquor bottles and feces, said Ray Henry, general manager of Sacramento’s RAH Environmental, a contracted HazMat vendor.
Caltrans workers were also on scene Tuesday to repair mangled fences and cover up graffiti with paint, said Steve Nelson, a Caltrans spokesperson.
“We were contacted by Nevada City police, who noted that it was a problem area, and we determined it was part of our right-of-way and that there were breaks in the fences, so we wanted to fix that,” Nelson said.
Nelson estimated that Tuesday’s cleanup cost between $1,500 and $4,500.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.