"The Road is Gone"–Whittmore Grove/Briceland Rd. Closed

UPDATE: According to Mark Lovelace, “[Humboldt County’s Public Works Director, Tom Mattson] has requested that the Sheriff declare a disaster to help expedite repairs.” Briceland Road has been closed.  Old Briceland Rd is having trouble dealing with the increased traffic during such rainy weather. Delivery trucks and school buses as well as emergency vehicles and regular drivers are all being affected by this closure.  Trinity and Mendocino have already declared disasters.

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Briceland Road has been closed.  Redway resident and photographer, Kim Sallaway (see his site here), took these this evening after the roadway collapsed further. He said, “The road is gone. The crew is dumping riprap into the oozing mud. They disappear with a plop and sink into the moving mess. Truck load after truck load of rocks from a quarry on Bear Butte are disappearing into the hillside and creek bed as they try to get the earth to stop moving. This is serious stuff. The road is closed. There is no road. They hope to rebuild one lane by early in the week for controlled traffic. The repair will take more than a year. It will be very inconvenient.”

The alternative route now is through Old Briceland road out by the Garberville Airport.  Sallaway urges, “Right now, if you don’t need to go to town, don’t go. If you have to drive Old Briceland Road, remember it is dangerous, and will have far more traffic on it than is normal. BE CAREFUL. Put your cell phones away. Pay attention.”

The bed of the Briceland Road at Whitmore Grove was built on an old redwood crib (see photo taken earlier below).  According to Sallaway, “The logs are too old and are decayed. Touch’ em and they have no integrity at all…the crib failed.” Note the hollowed interiors of the timbers.

  • Laytonville Rock
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9 comments

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  • wow, either snowed in or rained out. good photos

  • wow, either snowed in or rained out. good photos

  • It’s hard for me to believe that State Parks was unaware of the condition of that cribbing…
    It looks, to me, like the road collapse brought down the trees rather than the reverse.

  • It’s hard for me to believe that State Parks was unaware of the condition of that cribbing…
    It looks, to me, like the road collapse brought down the trees rather than the reverse.

  • You know what Ben? You may be correct. That theory works for me after checking it all out with a camera and being able to study the photos.
    I just returned from another photo session in DeWitte Grove.
    The roadway is being worked on with the hopes that by Monday the traffic can use it, one way, controlled. The crew worked until 11:30 last night and started up again at 7AM. They dumped more than 40 20 yard dump trucks worth of rip-rap into the hillside yeaterday. They have done more than 15 today by 10:30 AM. They have a steady flow of big serpentine rocks coming from Bear Butte.
    According to the job supervisor, I can’t recollect his name, the plan is to work until it is done. And he hopes that will be tonight. This incessant rain makes the going uncomfortable for the working men, but they seem to be getting it done.
    The road will be one lane.

  • You know what Ben? You may be correct. That theory works for me after checking it all out with a camera and being able to study the photos.
    I just returned from another photo session in DeWitte Grove.
    The roadway is being worked on with the hopes that by Monday the traffic can use it, one way, controlled. The crew worked until 11:30 last night and started up again at 7AM. They dumped more than 40 20 yard dump trucks worth of rip-rap into the hillside yeaterday. They have done more than 15 today by 10:30 AM. They have a steady flow of big serpentine rocks coming from Bear Butte.
    According to the job supervisor, I can’t recollect his name, the plan is to work until it is done. And he hopes that will be tonight. This incessant rain makes the going uncomfortable for the working men, but they seem to be getting it done.
    The road will be one lane.

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