Yet Another Road Update [updated 3/30]

March 27th, 2018 by tony

Can you believe we’re still talking about road closures?? We’re nearly through the rainy season and we *still* are dealing with closed roads due to 2017’s torrential rains. It’s hard to believe that it is taking over a year to get major roads open. Don’t forget there are still many minor roads (i.e. roads we cycle on!) which haven’t been repaired and are only open to one-way traffic. With county road budgets being stressed they’re unlikely to be fully repaired for many years and we’ll just have to live with roads slowly falling down the hillsides. But the positive is that they then become impassable to cars but not to bicycles! Here’s an update on the remaining major roads.

Pinehurst. The Canyon Road bridge was closed last April due to earth movement. A temporary bridge that is one-way and controlled by a signal was opened last November 22 while the City of Moraga worked on funding for a two-lane replacement in 2018. Well, that has now been pushed back to 2019. So the road is open but we won’t have a full replacement this year. Unfortunately the one-way bridge doesn’t seem to be deterring the commuter traffic that avoids the Caldecott Tunnel and zips along Pinehurst. It has been so much better with the bridge out!

Redwood Road. The opening date keeps getting pushed back. First it was end of January, then beginning of March. Now it’s supposed to open by end of March. The roadway has been buttressed and reconstructed along with repaving and a new guardrail. The striping is supposed to be taking place now. The weather is supposed to be good this week, so we might actually get a nice surprise before this weekend! [UPDATE: Botz dots were glued down this afternoon (3/30) and Redwood opened up to all traffic.]

Calaveras Road. This road is taking “forever” to be reopened, probably because SF Water is pushing to keep it closed because the dam repairs are way behind schedule and it would just prefer to keep it closed until it’s done, even if it is unnecessary from a safety point of view. It’s now supposed to be fully reopened at the end of this year but the road is supposed to be open to weekend use sometime beforehand. Exactly when that is is vague. The SF Water website—unlike Alameda Public Works’s for example—does not provide the status of repairs; it’s typical SF Water: keep everything mum. The mindset is very Soviet: we don’t have to tell you anything until we want to. If the road opening were postponed another year, I wouldn’t be surprised. However the Fremont Freewheelers have supposedly secured the use of Calaveras for the upcoming Primavera Century. Last year the event had to be cancelled because of Calaveras’s closure. But if the road is safe enough for over a thousand cyclists to use on April 22, why isn’t SF Water reopening the road for weekend use?? If you want to ride Calaveras this year, you’d best plan to do the Primavera.

Highway One. Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge was rebuilt and opened last October, which opened the Big Sur portion of Highway One to through traffic. But the Mud Slide near Gorda to the south, which is massive, is still under reconstruction with a projected completion being “late summer 2018”. Since every road repair done since the 2017 rains has taken longer than expected, I think we can safely assume that Caltrans won’t make that deadline and we’ll be lucky if they have it open by end of October. This is pretty far away from our regular stomping grounds but it does affect us in one particular way: David Gaus has planned a multi-day road trip down Highway One and over Fergusson-Nacimiento Road to Fort Hunter Liggett. Since Fergusson-Nacimiento is a main access road to Highway One, it’s a bit dangerous to cycle on with the additional traffic. Normally it’s quiet and it won’t return to its former state until the Mud Slide repair is done and traffic goes back to contentedly hurtling up and down the coast.

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