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Storm damage thread (closed/damaged roads)

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Storm damage thread (closed/damaged roads)

Old 02-16-23, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
I liked the sign at the end, Fire Danger: Low. 😁✌️ I said at the beginning of flood season, that at least the drought was over. 😁😉

Not making light of anyone's hardships from the flooding, just trying to look at the "bright" side of things. ✌️
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Old 02-17-23, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by shrimp123
i rode from Castro Valley uphill towards Pinehurst. On the left side, there is a "path" over some brush and around the fence. not hard at all, but, needs a dismount and walk around. At Marceil, it is a slight detour into parking lot and done.
I've tried riding this stretch in the south direction twice now over the past two weeks. Last week was no problem; the barriers are exactly as described above and very easy to get around. However, when I rode the same stretch yesterday I discovered that there is an additional row of concrete barriers now just in front of the metal fence at Marceil, so they definitely are being aggressive at trying to prevent people from getting through. I assumed they probably did something similar on the Castro Valley side, so I ended up turning around just because I wasn't sure what I might be getting into if I proceeded down the road.
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Old 02-21-23, 12:39 PM
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@betabob, it's never a bad idea to respect the difference between CYA barriers and "no, really, stay out" barriers.
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Old 02-21-23, 01:15 PM
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An individual oak tree pulls thousands of gallons of water out of the ground and their roots grow where there is the most moisture in the soil. Ranchers and real estate developers and vineyards and highway engineers have removed thousands of these trees over the years and the end result is an increase in landslides. A fellow working for the then California Division of Highways, now "Caltrans", did a study of hundreds of "cuts" and "fills" on highway projects in 1973. He showed that fills where soil was brought into and area along with seed material was far more stable than "cuts" where the soil was removed. Half a century later the civil engineers still ignore trees and vegetation and will stick pipes into a slope think that this will help drain out the water. One cannot fix stupid with organizations that repeat the same mistakes year after year after year and expecting a different outcome.

On the plus side, when roads are closed to motor vehicles they become ideal for bicyclists.
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Old 02-21-23, 05:16 PM
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Osprey cam gives you an idea of the wind right now...
https://sfbayospreys.org/?fbclid=IwA...8ZTkDFjsr4lYMQ
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Old 02-21-23, 06:15 PM
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curbtender wow, what a video.
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Old 03-27-23, 08:57 AM
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Posted up last night on nextdoor. If bikes can get by, this would be a great car-less ride.

"Wildcat Canyon Rd closed from SPDR to Inspiration Point! This is a long term closure. Hope I can save some commuters inconvenience tomorrow! The slope failure that was starting caved altogether this (Sunday) afternoon."
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Old 03-27-23, 02:47 PM
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Here's a photo shared by a County Supervisor.

It will be interesting to see how "hard" the closure will be; that looks plenty passable for bikes (remember what Carquinez Scenic Drive looked like for so many years?), but I suspect the Powers That Be will not agree. I do hope that the rains Tuesday and Wednesday don't make this worse.

No doubt that, if and when repairs happen, the road will be closed for several months. With the amount of traffic Wildcat Canyon gets, I don't see how they can get by with the "one way both ways" solution that's been in place on Pinehurst and Old Tunnel for some years now, especially since those slide-outs took out less than an entire lane. And maybe this time, the road will be repaved with smooth asphalt instead of chip seal. Hey, a guy can dream . . . .
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Old 03-28-23, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
Here's a photo shared by a County Supervisor. . . .
Wildcat closed to cars would be a nice ride!

The worst section of NGR has gotten longer, but not into the other lane yet. I think they dumped a metric buttload of riprap into the upstream of the creek and it all just absorbed.

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Old 03-28-23, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
Wildcat closed to cars would be a nice ride!

The worst section of NGR has gotten longer, but not into the other lane yet. I think they dumped a metric buttload of riprap into the upstream of the creek and it all just absorbed.
The only danger I see is from a rider going uphill suddenly being confronted by someone bombing downhill and coming around the corner. I think the danger is less on NGR because of the sharp corner just uphill of the slide. From the photo Wildcat it looks like the corner just uphill from the slide is one of the ones you take at speed or with only a little breaking, meaning much more speed when the descender is suddenly confronted by a rider coming uphill. I would expect hikers to make use of it, too. As long as everyone plays nicely, it shouldn't be a problem.

In any event, the thought of a car-free Wildcat Canyon is pretty alluring. I would expect hikers to make use of it, too.

BTW, Scott, I had fun time on Your Mountain last Saturday (up and down via SGR). Slow, even stupidly slow, but fun.
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Old 03-28-23, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
The only danger I see is from a rider going uphill suddenly being confronted by someone bombing downhill and coming around the corner. I think the danger is less on NGR because of the sharp corner just uphill of the slide. From the photo Wildcat it looks like the corner just uphill from the slide is one of the ones you take at speed or with only a little breaking, meaning much more speed when the descender is suddenly confronted by a rider coming uphill. I would expect hikers to make use of it, too. As long as everyone plays nicely, it shouldn't be a problem.

In any event, the thought of a car-free Wildcat Canyon is pretty alluring. I would expect hikers to make use of it, too.

BTW, Scott, I had fun time on Your Mountain last Saturday (up and down via SGR). Slow, even stupidly slow, but fun.
Thank you for bringing Glory to The Mountain!
All the roads on Diablo still have a lot of debris on them - pebbles, slippery muddy smears, tree limbs and pine cones, etc. Not many people bombing the descents no matter how well they know the road (me), or how skilled they are (kind of me), or how daredevilish they may be (not me!). I suspect a few well-placed and well-phrased warning signs could do the same for Wildcat daredevils.
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Old 03-28-23, 04:14 PM
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I appreciate your use of the term "Metric Buttload". Thanks.
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Old 03-28-23, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider
I appreciate your use of the term "Metric Buttload". Thanks.
Precision in these matters is crucial. If you REMOVE 1.0 metric buttloads of debris, you have to REPLACE it with 1.0 metric buttloads of riprap, or else the quantum entanglement wave function collapses and the UP quarks roll down the inflection point horizon.


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Old 03-28-23, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
Here's a photo shared by a County Supervisor.

It will be interesting to see how "hard" the closure will be; that looks plenty passable for bikes (remember what Carquinez Scenic Drive looked like for so many years?), but I suspect the Powers That Be will not agree. I do hope that the rains Tuesday and Wednesday don't make this worse.

No doubt that, if and when repairs happen, the road will be closed for several months. With the amount of traffic Wildcat Canyon gets, I don't see how they can get by with the "one way both ways" solution that's been in place on Pinehurst and Old Tunnel for some years now, especially since those slide-outs took out less than an entire lane. And maybe this time, the road will be repaved with smooth asphalt instead of chip seal. Hey, a guy can dream . . . .
It's not a problem, if they want to keep it open. Unmanned, one way traffic lights can be installed on either end of the slide, even around blind corners to control traffic without having people to control it. These have been used in many places with one-lane washouts, including BCR and during the Canyon Rd bridge replacement. Unfortunately, they may not be able to do this considering the washout extends slightly into both lanes, and they would need to install K-rails along the edge of it. Not sure there is enough room for that, or if the County would prefer to simply keep it closed. As the road doesn't directly serve any houses, I don't see an urgent need to keep it open. Having said that, like many of these other slides, I don't see any reason why a bicyclist or two couldn't poach the road early on a weekend day, even if it might be inconvenient to go around fencing.
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Old 03-29-23, 10:56 AM
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They DID install a one-way, unmanned light a couple of weeks ago after one of the other storms, but last week’s storm caused the roadside to collapse even more and so they decided to close Wildcat altogether.
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Old 03-29-23, 11:25 AM
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Oh ok. So yeah, now that it's gotten worse, they are just erring on the side of caution. I have heard that the road is only blocked off by K-rails, which is much better than a 6' chain link fence like on Redwood! Just go early on a weekend, and I'm sure it'll be fine...
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Old 03-30-23, 11:06 PM
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I rode up Wildcat today with no problems. There were work crews at the intersection of SP Dam, but when I asked about going up they said it was cool but reminded me I was doing so at my own risk. Plenty of room for bikes, and in fact the work crews even drove through the damaged area in their trucks as they were heading back up the hill later.
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Old 03-30-23, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by betabob
I rode up Wildcat today with no problems. There were work crews at the intersection of SP Dam, but when I asked about going up they said it was cool but reminded me I was doing so at my own risk. Plenty of room for bikes, and in fact the work crews even drove through the damaged area in their trucks as they were heading back up the hill later.
Thanks for the info. Good to know we can get through.
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Old 03-31-23, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
Thank you for bringing Glory to The Mountain!
All the roads on Diablo still have a lot of debris on them - pebbles, slippery muddy smears, tree limbs and pine cones, etc. Not many people bombing the descents no matter how well they know the road (me), or how skilled they are (kind of me), or how daredevilish they may be (not me!). I suspect a few well-placed and well-phrased warning signs could do the same for Wildcat daredevils.
I did it Sunday for the first time - up from South Gate, summit, down north gate. Didn’t encounter any debris! very nice ride, except for the last .2 miles to the top LOL.
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Old 03-31-23, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
I did it Sunday for the first time - up from South Gate, summit, down north gate. Didnít encounter any debris! very nice ride, except for the last .2 miles to the top LOL.
Welcome to the club!
And thanks for the opportunity to post some Diablo info. Just in case you're a Ronde Van Vlaanderen Fan:

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Old 03-31-23, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by betabob
I rode up Wildcat today with no problems. There were work crews at the intersection of SP Dam, but when I asked about going up they said it was cool but reminded me I was doing so at my own risk. Plenty of room for bikes, and in fact the work crews even drove through the damaged area in their trucks as they were heading back up the hill later.
Nice, thanks for the report! Although I suspect different work crews will have different attitudes about riding through the closed area. To that point, can I ask what kind of barriers were at each end? Was it just the white concrete temporary K-rails? Could you ride around by the edge, or have to dismount?
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Old 03-31-23, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cthenn
Nice, thanks for the report! Although I suspect different work crews will have different attitudes about riding through the closed area. To that point, can I ask what kind of barriers were at each end? Was it just the white concrete temporary K-rails? Could you ride around by the edge, or have to dismount?
Didnít have to dismount. There were those orange-colored plastic barriers alongside some signs, not too difficult to get between them. Theyíre located at the SP Dam Rd. intersection as well as at the El Toyonal intersection and also at Inspiration Pt.
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Old 04-01-23, 01:17 PM
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I rode down Wildcat Canyon yesterday (on a Friday morning). I stupidly forgot to check to see if there were any new road closures after the most recent storms, so I was not expecting this closure. I usually don't attempt to ride through closed roads because I'm chicken, but right as I reached the barricade and then turned left into the Inspiration Point parking lot and was quietly cursing to myself, I saw a pair of cyclists who had been behind me approach the barricades and they rode right on through. I thought, what the hell, and followed them, having no idea what to expect.

The descent was indeed nice without cars, though there was just enough debris on the road to make me not always comfortable going down at my usual speed; the two cyclists I was following also appeared to be going a bit slower than I'm guessing they normally would based on their bikes, outfits, physique, etc. When we reached the part where the road washed away, which is very close to the bottom, there was still a clear path, lined on either side by sandbags, to get through. Barricades at the bottom of the hill were also easy to ride through without dismounting. There were no workers onsite at that time. So yeah, could be risky to ride all the way down the hill if you were to then encounter a work crew onsite that doesn't let you through. Maybe I'm going to have to try riding down El Toyonal next time, just to be on the safe side.
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Old 04-01-23, 05:51 PM
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Wildcat on 4/1/2023 - No April Fools stuff here.

I just got back from going down and back up Wildcat Canyon.

Here's the skinny. First some photos, then some observations.

Here's the barricade at Inspiration Point. I walked through this one.


There is a second barricade on the downhill side of the intersection with El Toyonal (looking downhill). I rode through this one.


Uphill end of the washout looking downhill. With the sandbags in place, there is room for one bike at a time - I'd hate to have to pass someone going the other way.


Washout at the downhill end looking up. The washout is about 3/4 of a mile below El Toyonal. If it weren't for the curve on Wildcat immediately after you turn off the Dam Road, you could see the downhill of the slide from the Dam Rd/Wildcat Canyon intersection. when you start up Wildcat, there is that straight for a bit, then it pitches up some and then there is a slight right hand turn. The washout took out that right hand turn.


Here is the barricade at San Pablo Dam Road, for completeness. I did not ride through it because I was turning around, but I watched someone else ride through it.


Observations:

1. Wildcat Canyon is now a very wide MUP. I saw several parties of walkers/hikers walking three and four abreast. Be aware of this very real possibility.
2. I watched a pick-up truck towing a horse trailer come downhill and turn at El Toyonal. He had to have moved the barricade at Inspiration Point and put it back. (No comment on whether he should or should not have been there, just reporting what I saw.) So while it is unlikely that you will see motor vehicle traffic, it it possible you will. Be alert.
3. When cars travel on Wild Canyon (and other country roads), their tires and the wind they generate helps keep debris, glass and other crap off the road. That is no longer the case. It isn't a problem yet, but it likely will become one in the coming months.
4. Dollars to donuts teenagers at both ends (but I predict especially on the Orinda side) will figure out that the closed road is a primo party location. Teens partying = broken bottles. I strongly suspect that we will see increasing amounts of broken glass on Wildcat, especially near the barricades.
5. The stretch at the washout seemed perfectly safe to ride on. It really is not very wide, though. I really don't think two riders can pass each other, and the fall into the abyss would be seriously not fun. So please be careful coming downhill; there is adequate - but only adequate - room to slow down coming around the last bend before the washout to slow or stop if someone is coming uphill and is in the stretch, but if someone is going all gonzo descender coming around that corner (and it's usually a fast corner), Bad Things could happen. As the Sergeant on "Hill Street Blues" used to say, "let's be careful out there.
6. It really is cool having no cars on the road.
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Old 04-14-23, 05:42 PM
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Just wondering if anyone has attempted to go through Wildcat Canyon recently and whether folks have encountered a work crew and if the crew let them through. I didn't want to risk getting to the bottom of Wildcat and encountering an unfriendly work crew on my ride this morning, so I went down the very circuitous and steep route through the El Toyonal neighborhood instead, which was the first time I've ever been through there. Not an especially pleasant ride (too curvy, narrow, and steep to be able to descend very fast), so I probably won't be pining to do that again. Hope Wildcat Canyon is repaired soon!
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