[KHTS] – Los Angeles County Public Works officials are continuing the search for a solution to the dried-up wells and the flooded Bouquet Canyon Road by conducting research in the area and exploring the possibility of realigning the road.
“The plan would be to have a road realignment, so the realignment would raise the road essentially out of the floodplain,” said Kerjon Lee, Los Angeles County Public Works public affairs manager. “In its current configuration, water from the adjacent creek is allowed to reach the road. The plan is to realign the creek.”
Bouquet Creek in wetter times.
The plan could cost as much as $60 million and the county itself cannot pay for the realignment without other contributors, Lee said.
“It’s not really a project yet per se. It’s something we’re discussing as a long term solution,” said Edel Viscarra, planning and public works deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. “This came out at the meetings we had with the state and Forest Service on long term versus short term solutions.”
County engineers have be conducting research in the Bouquet Canyon creek area, Viscarra said.
“Right now we’re working cooperatively with the other agencies and continue to work with the road issue,” Viscarra said. “Any major road project will take years to complete. The short term project is cleaning the creek. There are some studies that were performing right now and we are moving forward with that.”
Any impacts on wildlife or vegetation would have to be evaluated for the project, Lee said.
“Realignment would have some environmental impacts, we would have to have our plans reviewed and approved by the environmental regulatory agencies,” Lee said. “Forest Service would have to review the plans. We look to them for funding partners.”
Public Works officials are hoping to attain a Federal Lands Highway Access Program grant to help ease some of the financial burden for the realignment, Lee said. Officials expect the grant to open for proposals in October with a due date of January 2015.
“Anyone who is a stakeholder up there, we need to partner with them if and when (the realignment) is completed,” Viscarra said. “The main concern now is to find a short term solution to get water down to the residents of Bouquet.”