South Park Loop Status as of 12/02

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Posted by Joel Briggs on December 06, 2002 at 11:23:14:

Here is the scoop on what is happening with the Loop in the Panamints.

I have been working with Steve Smith and he is looking at several options to have the road repaired and stabilized; grant funding, volunteer efforts, and contracting it out. ( For those that attended the meeting last night, this is just a recap. )

A road survey assessment was just completed and will be forwarded to the authorizing agencies, BLM, State-OHV, and NPS here shortly. (I also got permission to post this report on this message board once completed.) They will be making the final decision on the best way to repair and stabilize this road. I will be attending these meetings and will let all of you know the minutes and final outcome. Steve did indicate it will be a few months before any of this starts.

As it stands, the best recommendation so far is to “blast” out the corner, making the road wider. A couple of problems with this; it would have to be all done by hand, blasting would change the surrounding area, and stabilization factors. Basically, a lot of paperwork (EA-2) and studies to go this route – but the best so far. An organization has already come forward to volunteer their services to do the drilling and blasting.

Initial thoughts were to build up the road with rock and fill (stacking rocks). This is not feasible (from the surveyor – US Army Corp. of Engineers) because the road is built on fill and erosion has already undercut it (one reason why it collapsed in the first place.) It would have to be completely torn down and then rebuilt. Another suggestion was to build the road up with steel beams and other material. Problem is, equipment can not be brought up because of road weight and width restrictions.

The surveyor also pointed out two other areas of concerns along this road route and work needed to stabilize them.

But regardless, work is underway to see how the road can be repaired and stabilized.

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