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SCVNews.com | Bouquet Section Closed for Safety; Vasquez Reopens in 2 Weeks | 11-03-2016
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Nobody is blocked off and no homes are located within the Bouquet Canyon Road closure area, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich’s planning deputy said Thursday.

“There’s a set of gates, one on the south side and two on north, with no homes in between. It’s all vacant land,” Edel Vizcarra said. “We made sure there was a detour available and there’s nothing unsafe.”

Vizcarra also said Vasquez Canyon Road will be open in two weeks.

“Public Works worked really hard to get (Vasquez) open before the end of the year,” he said.

The closure of 3.5 miles of upper Bouquet Canyon Road relates to the ongoing tug-of-war between the county, the state and forestry officials over the removal of sediment from Bouquet Creek.

“Sediment built up there over the years and is now higher than the road,” Vizcarra said. “When even a small amount of rain lands, it doesn’t have the opportunity to drain. It just pools (on the road).”

The county hasn’t been allowed to fix the problem.

“We (the county) don’t own these roads,” he said. “All the roads in the forest area are owned by the Forest Service. (When) we want to put in a stop sign, they tell us how.”

The Forest Service and state regulators won’t allow the county to go in and clean out sections of the creek, as the county planned to do, Vizcarra said. Now they’re demanding a full-blown watershed protection project.

At the heart of the problem is the unarmoured threespine stickleback, an endangered fish that might live in the creek. The federal government has not allowed the county to perform road or flood-control work for fear of disturbing the fish.

An additional challenge is that the canyon roads weren’t built to handle the amount of traffic they’re seeing today, Vizcarra said. The Forest Service has told the county it was never intended for leaseholders to live in the canyon year-round, he said.

“The reality is, the urbanism has moved into these roads that were never meant to be highways to be used by commuters. They are not meant to hold the large number of trips,” he said. “We are in a situation where cities were created around these forest areas; uses went from recreation to full-time homes for people. But that’s not what the intention of Bouquet was.”

The county conducted a safety assessment after multiple crashes on the roadway resulted in fatalities. The study aimed to see if safety improvements could be made.

As a result, the speed limit was reduced to 45 mph and electronic message boards were put up, telling people to slow down, Vizcarra said. Also, the CHP increased its patrols of the road, and the county is embarking on a larger project that will include recessed pavers and 800 new signs.

Bouquet Canyon residents have expressed concerns about the closure’s impact on trash collection and mail service. Vizcarra said a new plan was due from the U.S. Postal Service on Thursday evening, and waste haulers are still picking up trash.

The Big Oaks Lodge sits just north of the closure and is accessible from the north, Vizcarra said. From the south, people can get there by taking San Francisquito Canyon Road and cutting across on Spunky Canyon.

All emergency responders have keys and can get through the gates, Vizcarra said.

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31 Comments

  1. Brian Wood Brian Wood says:

    This is just wrong. This is a major artery from SCV to Palmdale and could have been handled during the “dry season” (the past how many months?). Is this just another Vasquez Canyon, or Old Ridge Route that will never re-open? Who plans construction with no apparent end date?

  2. Scott Davidson Vasquez is reopening!!

  3. Enid Pliego Enid Pliego says:

    Stacy Gaither Decker

  4. Everybody is just land locked & has to go way around…..It is also creating extreme traffic on San Fran Cyn & Green Valley & Spunky Cyn…….Open it up!!!

  5. Mariana Cee Mariana Cee says:

    Kind of odd that Vasquez is opening just as bouquet is closing. Im super happy yet sort of 🤔🤔

  6. Nobody is blocked off, yea right. I bet you feel differently about that Kendra Norris Supple!

  7. Ya era hora 🙄🙄🙄🙄

  8. Steven Crittenden Sarah Crittenden Gadbois

  9. Does anyone know why the section of the 18 is closed still?

  10. Brenda Lee says:

    Just want to make sure everyone knows that there is a petition to re-open Bouquet Canyon. It is on a specific Facebook page, dedicated to the closure:
    http://www.facebook.com/bouquet.canyon.9

  11. Katie Kuykendall Cindy Scavone Morris they are opening it back up!!

  12. Brenda Lee says:

    There is a Facebook page with a petition to re-open Bouquet, and other information regarding the closure:
    http://www.facebook.com/bouquet.canyon.9

    I tried to post this an hour ago, but it was skipped.

  13. April Jauregui says:

    But San Francisquito isn’t handling all this traffic well either. The road is being destroyed and there is no police presence at all and people drive like maniacs. This two lane sounds like a freeway.

  14. Bill Boyce says:

    Wow… in this article Vizcaya clearly states that the county doesn’t own the road… the U.S. Forest Service does..??? NOT ACCORDING TO THE ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST SUPERVISOR. They claim the county owns Bouquet Canyon Road. HUMM… Every time I see a repair done on the road, it’s a county crew not a forest service crew. If that’s the case..WHO PAYS FOR THESE REPAIRS AND FOLLOW THAT MONEY TRAIL.

    The fish is a NON ISSUE, the stickler acknowledge in Bouquet were proven with mitochondrial DNA genetics studies conducted at UCLA to be the un-endangered partially armored threespine stickleback. They have been using this false claim to achieve some hidden agenda that spreads across several federal agencies, the state, and the county.

    FACT; Bouquet is NOW A MAJOR COMMUTER ROAD. To reduce its traffic flow would be major lane additions to the 14 to reduce that hateful daily commute.

    REMEDY: Call the fish what it is.. A NON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE, re-channel Bouquet to put the creek back in its rightful place, repair the road where damaged, patrol the speeding with a serious police effort, not the occasional wink, and re-open the campgrounds so that ALL OF US WHO PAY TAXES AND THESE GOVERNMENT WAGES CAN USE THIS BEAUTIFUL CANYON AS WE DID ALL THROUGH THE 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

    MY QUALIFICATIONS: Federal fisheries biologist for 16 years, which included 4 years with the U.S. Forest Service. WE ARE ALL BEING DUPED WITH THIS ISSUE.

  15. We have had no accidents on Sierra Hwy and Vasquez Rd since it has been shut down. Here comes the motorcade from Palmdale and Lancaster.

  16. Linda Harbeson says:

    “At the heart of the problem is the unarmoured threespine stickleback, an endangered fish that might live in the creek.” Really people? It MIGHT live in the creek? What a joke. People need to be smart, drive speed limits and just be nice on the roads.

  17. Miles Berry Vasquez reopens soon ! Not that it helps us now ! Haha

  18. jacqueline says:

    WHY isn’t STEVE KNIGHT, CALLED TO SPEAK HE TALKED ABOUT THE PROBLEMS IN BOUQUET CANYON DURING HIS “TELE TOWN HALL CONFERENCE CALLS”. HE SPOKE ABOUT THE PROBLEMS TO THOSE THAT KNEW AND UNFORTUNATELY I GOT DISCONNECTED BEFORE I HEARD THE REST……. COME ON STEVE KNIGHT WHERE ARE YOU??

  19. ANON says:

    WHERE’S STEVE KNIGHTS COMMENTS? WHERE ARE YOU STEVE KNIGHT?

  20. Mark Jenkins says:

    Bouquet closed? Rain? When? How Long? Secret earthquake info to affect Bouquet Canyon and Dam?

    Didn’t we have enough rain last year? Well, sounds interesting these changes.

    El Nino? Again.

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