Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mineral Bottom Road Update I

Last weekend my brothers and I went down to Moab and we visited the Mineral Bottom Road.  This road is the westerly access to the White Rim Trail, a very popular mountain biking and 4x4 trail in Canyonlands National Park.  This road was washed out on August 19 by heavy rains and has been inaccessable ever since.

I blogged about it and was contacted by the Grand County Council to, in part, represent the casual tourist usage of this road in their assessment of the impact on the economy and tourist trade in Grand County. 

They must have been persuasive in their appeal for repair funds because last week Rep. Jim Matheson announced this road (or what is left of it) will qualify for emergency disaster relief and Grand County will recieve funds to repair the damage (see the article in the Moab Times October 21, 2010).  They were also able to get the attention of someone here in SLC.  There was an article about the road washout and the economic impact in the Salt Lake Tribune on October 20, 2010. 

Rep. Matheson said the repairs would be completed sometime during the summer 2011.  The exact date would depend on an engineering assesment that was scheduled to be completed this week.

My personal assessment of the damage is that it is a lot worse when you see it in person.  A lot of material was washed down the canyon.  We walked a way down the switchbacks and continually marveled at the power of the water to completely obliterate whole sections of the road.  In some places the bedrock was exposed.  I have attached some pictures.

Good luck to the Grand County Council and the engineers.  I hope they get it done sooner rather than later.

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