Placer contractor finishes grant work

Last year, Placer County was awarded a $294,000 OHV grant through the CA State Parks OHMVR program. The work funded by that grant was recently completed. Although the funding didn’t cover everything on the to do list, it was a step in the right direction.

Along the paved portion of the trail between the residential area and the staging area, a dozen or so spots of asphalt were cut out repaved. At the same time, the low spots along the edge of the road, particularly the inside turns, were filled in and compacted. This will provide a smoother and safer ride as trailer tires will not drop off the edge of the road.



More importantly, additional low spots along the trail were filled in. The primary scope of this portion was from the TNF/LTBMU border to the intersection of the Rubicon Trail and Forest Road 03-04 (Barker Pass Road).

Here are two pictures from an area right along Miller Lake. In the first two pictures you can see the standing water on the trail. The second photo shows the attempts of those who didn’t want to drive/ride through the water. That illegal bypass as been blocked off.



This picture shows the same route (different angle) filled in to prevent any water from pooling on the trail. This will keep the mountain bikes, motorcycles, quads and side-by-sides on the trail.


Further down the trail, just before the Range Fence, there was a HUGE water hole. The signs on either side cautioned that the bottom was bumpy but not muddy and it was only about a foot and a half deep. Those signs kept most people from driving off trail. The Range Fence stopped the rest.





Sorry that these photos all seem to be from different angles. But you get the point. A lot of dirt was moved on to the trail to build up the low spots. Approximately 1000 cubic yards of dirt was placed at this spot alone. Future work might include armoring some of the still vulnerable areas.

The one spot outside the scope that received a great deal of work was the old Mud Hole west of the Potato Patch. A few years ago, the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s lead an FOTR effort to fill and drain the water hole. We moved almost 80 yards of rock to armor and raise the bottom and trenched a drain away from the trail. The final effort lower the water level by several feet.

This spot was still a concern as water would still pool, so Placer drew up specific plans to fill in more of the hole, further armor the bottom of the hole (and drain) and re-establish the drain in to the forest.

So, here is the current view from the west. The old bypass is to the right. In the distance you can see the fill material.


Here is shot from the trail looking down the drain. The rock in the photo is the sediment trap lined by the contractor.


This rock will be used to line the rest of the drain area. Hopefully before winter sets in.


So, if you hadn’t noticed, the fill material came up a little short. The contractor maybe got half way. We think he calculated enough material to line the mud hole then ended up trying to fill the mud hole. This project will have to be revisited next season.


A close up of the area that was filled to the rim.


One of the last pieces to this puzzle was to create several rolling dips and drains along the trail to further prevent water from pooling on the trail. Here are some examples:



Even the outlet of the seasonal pond at the Ellis Creek Trail got lined:


Unfortunately, not all project get done perfectly. This project is no exception. As I said before the mud hole needs more fill material and there were a few seasonal creek crossings that did not get rolling dips. Things that are easily finished next summer.

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