The Curry Coastal Pilot

Residents and travelers heading more than 13 miles up the North Bank Chetco River Road will have to continue using a detour for three more weeks because work on a culvert replacement project has been delayed.

The project, located 13 miles east of Brookings, just past Redwood Bar at Big Redwood Creek, was scheduled to be completed Friday, but is now expected to be done by Oct. 10. It started on July 16.

"We apologize for the delay, but it was necessary for the contractor, who is using specialized equipment, to arrange for needed repairs," said Road Manager Paul Podesta.

The contractor is Hambone Construction, out of Redding, Calif., he said.

The culvert was originally installed in the late 1950s and has reached the end of its service life. The new culvert will be capable of accommodating a 100-year flood and improve fish passage in Big Redwood Creek.

Construction will impede access to the South Fork Campground, Packers Cabin, Vulcan Lake, some trailheads into the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, and Wilderness Retreat.

Residents and visitors to those areas are still being diverted to Forest Service Road 1107 and 1107580.

Now through Oct. 15, motorists can expect 30 minute delays to allow completion of subgrade and paving work. The contractor is working with local residents to minimize disruptions, Podesta said.

All U.S. Forest Service recreation sites in the area, including Redwood Bar Campground, remain open.A short segment of the Chetco River Road in the immediate area of the construction site remains impassable with a well-marked detour on Forest Roads 1107 and 1107580.

The contractor is maintaining the detour route that begins at the junction of the Chetco River Road (Forest Road 1376) and Forest Road 1107 near Miller Bar Campground. The detour route leads motorists around the project site back to the Chetco River Road near the Lower Southfork Campground, approximately two miles north of the construction site. Motorists should allow approximately 20 additional minutes for travel on the detour route and be aware the route is on single-lane, gravel-surfaced roads that are not recommended for motorhomes or trailers.

For more information please contact the Gold Beach Ranger District at 541-247-3600.