Briceland Road Updates–Weight Limit Still at 20 Tons [UPDATE-Weight Limit Lifted!]

UPDATE @ 5:50 pm 3/29: Estelle is reporting on SoHum Awareness that “[The] WEIGHT LIMIT HAS BEEN LIFTED ON BRICELAND ROAD REPAIR. Just learned from County Roads that the engineers have signed off on the repair and weight limit has been lifted. Please continue to drive carefully through Whitmore Grove. ”

(Post Updated with Kim Salaway’s photos at 1:40 pm Mar 29)

While the community east of the recently repaired Briceland Rd. is generally expressing delight and relief, some businesses are reeling under the impact of the 40,000 pounds (20 tons) weight limit.  This limit does allow school buses to drive in and out over the troubled spot but heavier vehicles are being told (though there are no signs posted) not to cross as their size may damage the new roadbed causing the area to be closed once more. Yesterday evening, low cars were scraping on the mounding thrown up in reaction to new ruts forming.  However, at 10:30 this morning, local resident Yvonne Hendrix reported on the new Southern Humboldt crisis site, SoHum Awareness, “They’re running the rollers over the rocks they just laid…The new rock fills in the ruts.  Drive slow and be patient.”

(photo by Kim Sallaway–See his gallery of Recycled Youth photos here)

Sam Allsop who is currently heading up the project on Briceland Road for State Parks says that an engineer is looking into to upgrading the weight limit to a higher amount.  He hopes to get an update today from SHN.

Kevin Murphy of Hohstadts Garden Center which makes bulk soil worries because he imports all his materials over the road.  Many of them come in large truckloads of over 60,000 pounds.  He says that Whitethorn Construction and other businesses will also face similar problems.  “I have a week to 10 days of supplies on hand. ”  Murphy said that State workers let one of his trucks run through earlier but he says that he just begins to relax at one piece of news and then another contradictory piece shows up. “It is tough to run a business with this uncertainty.”  Murphy can ship out his soil in smaller, lighter loads but he needs the heavier trucks to bring in materials.

So Hum’s Supervisor, Clif Clendenen stated that “As of this morning’s meeting, State Parks were waiting for the most recent engineering update from SHN [an engineering firm] with the goal of no weight limit, but that’s still in play…”  Then he added, “The county will be challenged to keep the main roads open with the resources available, but we will do whatever’s possible to help folks.”
(photo by Kim Sallaway–See his gallery of Recycled Youth photos here)
While the affected area of Briceland Road is being mostly maintained by State Parks, County workers have also assisted. The County maintains almost 244 miles in the Garberville area alone with just 7 employees plus a supervisor. Overall the county has 1200 miles to maintain. People are still calling with regular maintenance issues while emergency situations are developing. Trees are still coming down and slides happening even though the area has a temporary weather break. Kudos to both County workers and State Park workers for the effort and long hours they are having to put in during and after this latest storm. 

The Times Standard has a good piece here outlining some of the issues. 

Photos unless noted otherwise taken on the evening of March 28th by Kym Kemp



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