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Pending FEMA Paperwork, Storm-Slammed Road Gets Proactive Attention

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San Andreas CA – A key rural route that was closed for two months due to storm damage from this past February is getting “winterized.”

Beginning today, Calaveras County Public Works officials say that maintenance staff is undertaking emergency protective measures to secure a road damage site on Independence Road near April Lane.

The work includes temporary paving, reestablishing impacted drainage ditches, and relocating storm debris to protect existing infrastructure and prevent further flooding and storm damage over the coming winter.

While there are work-around detours for the affected stretch, the road, which runs between Glencoe and Rail Road Flat, is a critical rural access route for area locals, many who voiced concerns over its closure in the event of a an emergency or disaster such as the wildfire that destroyed Paradise, which lacked sufficient escape routes.

Asked why the efforts are focusing on winterizing rather than repairing the roadway, officials say that they are still waiting to receive the necessary official environmental clearance from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA); otherwise, the repairs might not be eligible for funding reimbursement.

The Calaveras supervisors back in early October authorized debris removal contracts and plans are, as soon as FEMA approval is received, to begin. At this point, it is anticipated it will take until sometime later this winter.

In the meantime, since the storm debris cannot be hauled away, only moved, public works officials say the current goal is to ensure the road is travel-safe before bad weather hits.

Anyone with questions about the project is encouraged to call the Calaveras County Public Works Department at 209 754-6401. Motorists through the area are asked to please observe all traffic control signs and instructions of onsite personnel.