Middle Fork Road update – 6/28/2014

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This morning I drove the dogs out to the Middle Fork Road to see how the paving project is going. I’m not a fan of the paving project (as explained here), and hadn’t been out there since the beginning of April.

The project is well underway now, with heavy equipment at several spots along the 12 miles of the main road. (There’s also a 5-mile spur at the end, Dingford Creek Road.) They’re only working during the week, so the equipment is all off the side of the road on weekends and there are no barricades.

It looks like that will change on July 28, according to these signs at the beginning of the road:

signs at the start of Middle Fork Road

The good news, though, is that 9.5 miles in is beyond several of our favorite spots, such as the CCC Trail, Bessemer Mountain Road, and Teneriffe Beach. So it looks like those spots will be accessible on weekends through the summer.

SE Lake Dorothy Road runs roughly parallel to Middle Fork Road in the first couple of miles (before the pavement ends), but it seems to be closed now. My hunch is that they’re widening it, since that road is only one lane wide in spots, but I didn’t check it out this trip.

closed SE Lake Dorothy Road

About a mile into the unpaved section of Middle Fork Road, we came across the first signs of activity. The road is on a narrow ledge between a steep hillside and the river here, so they’ll need to dig into the hill to make it wide enough for two paved lans.

first signs of widening work, about 2 miles in

A few miles farther on, along the cliffs just before the CCC Trail trailhead, they’ve started blasting away part of the cliff to make the road wider.

along the cliffs near the CCC Trail trailhead

I’d say about half of the 12 miles looks entirely untouched so far, like this stretch:

an untouched stretch of Middle Fork Road

And there’s one stretch of a mile or so (just before the Middle Fork Campground) that looks to be fully widened and smoothed and ready for paving.

a wide and smooth stretch

There were fewer people than usual for a late June weekend, which isn’t surprising. And most of them seemed to be camping – I saw more tents than we usually see. But there were no people at any of our favorite hiking spots, so we stopped and played around at the CCC Trail for while:

Jamie & Alice

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