I am writing to express the deep concerns of the residents of Higgins Canyon Road regarding the ongoing road closure due to heavy rain. For nearly four months, our community has been facing significant safety concerns as a result of this closure, yet the county appears to be doing very little to address the issue in a timely and effective manner.
At a recent informational meeting, county officials displayed photos of other locations with road closures and "Road Closed" signs, apparently to demonstrate that our situation is not unique. This was hardly reassuring, however, as it suggested that the county is not taking its road maintenance responsibilities seriously. Moreover, we believe that the root cause of the slide is the lack of proper maintenance of the culvert that was installed to direct water from the hillside to the creek across the road. This culvert should have been cleaned before the rainy season, but it was not, causing water to collect and creating the water pressure that caused the road to slip.
At the aforementioned meeting, we were dismayed to witness the lack of concern displayed by the county officials. Our newly elected supervisor was seen comfortably relaxed in his home, playing with his dog, while his constituents were essentially imprisoned in our homes. Additionally, the county engineers seemed satisfied with their "geological" gibberish, which did little to alleviate our concerns. However, I was encouraged by the fire department official who attended the meeting and promised to follow up with the county to address our safety concerns and they have done so.
It is unacceptable that the road closure has lasted so long. Our community believes that this situation could be easily resolved by arranging barriers along the slide location, clearing the remaining width of the road, and installing a one-way traffic signal to allow local and emergency traffic to pass through. We are only talking about 100 feet of road here, yet the county's lack of action on this matter is intolerable.
We urge the county to take immediate action to address this situation and provide a timely and effective resolution to the ongoing road closure on Higgins Canyon Road. We are anxiously waiting to see what action will be taken by the county after their “30-day drying period” ends. Stay tuned.
Editor’s note: Shafae is the president of the Higgins Canyon Homeowners Association
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