Brawley, California - Several local and state agencies coordinated efforts to clean up a " squatters camp " near Brawley.
For years transients have been living under and around the Highway 86 bridge over the New River. Nearby residents and property owners have repeatedly asked that the transients be moved out and the area cleaned up but nothing ever happened. According to the Imperial County Sheriff's Office the problem had gotten so bad that it was no longer just trash and transients , it became an environmental issue. Structures had been erected under and around the bridge and human waste was everywhere. The issue was finally addressed in April when the Sheriff's Office , Caltrans and Imperial County Environmental Health Department took on the project. The efforts led to 90 cubic yards of waste , that's 9 semi-truck sized dump truck loads. The clean up took several days and was carried out Sheriff's Department personnel consisting of a Deputy , Correctional staff and an inmate work crew. Caltrans provided heavy equipment operators and personnel to work under the bridge. According to Sheriff Ray Loera , now that the bridge has been cleaned , the Sheriff's Office will continue to work with Caltrans to ensure these encampments do not gain another foothold.