January 25, 2009

Marines want to take over Amboy Road

Mojave Daily News / News West

LAUGHLIN - The U.S. Marine Corps wants to expand its Twentynine Palms, Calif., air-ground combat training base to the east, taking over Amboy Road, which Southern California drivers use to reach the Colorado River cities.

The Laughlin Chamber of Commerce recently found about the military's expansion effort for its live-fire training and is concerned that eventually the key artery from the Palm Springs to Laughlin will be closed permanently.

Friday is the deadline to submit concerns, which would be addressed in the environmental impact statement of the withdrawal of territory owned mostly by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the state of California.

Chamber manager Janet Medina describes the route from California Highway 62 to Old Route 66, which connects with Interstate 40 at Interchange 115, as “a leisurely drive to and from Laughlin.”

“If the road becomes clogged with military convoys or closed during training exercises, travelers will change their driving patterns and detour past Indian casinos prior to their arrival in Laughlin,” she advised her board of directors.

Medina added, “If the road is permanently closed, visitors will have no alternative but to detour and (it) definitely has the potential to negatively impact Laughlin” and its neighbors to the east and south.

Alternative three would add 22,000 acres (more than 34 square miles) to the south and 224,000 acres (about 350 square miles) east of the existing sprawling base.

There are five other options which don't affect the key travel route.

The draft impact statement is scheduled to be issued next year and the final EIS with the record of decision in 2011.