Collapsing Roads Lead to an Emergency Declaration in Butte County

Apr 1, 2011 9:36 PM

Butte County Public Works Superintendent, Bryan Graves says, "There was over saturation in the earth and the roadway basically acted as a dam, and something has to give.." And that something was the roadway itself. Portions of Oro Qunicy Highway and Bardees Bar Road are literally slipping off the mountainside..

When the initial assessment was conducted, the road had three-inch-wide cracks in it.. But it has gotten much worse since then. So on Friday, Butte County Chief Administrative Officer, Paul Hahn, made a disaster declaration for Butte County, in hopes that it may help the county with funding to fix the roadway. "Primarily we use that declaration to seek after state and federal funding" Butte County Deputy Administrative Officer, Sang Kim says.

And with an estimated cost of four hundred thousand dollars to repair the roads, there just simply isn't enough county money. Kim says, "If we use the existing local road money here, then we have that much less money to fix pot holes and other repairs we're in need of." Graves says, "Once we go beyond the maintenance and go where we actually loose a portion of roadway and stuff like that.. The funds that are needed to correct that, there isn't enough here." For now, they will have to wait and see whether they qualify for the funds.

The road isn't being used too much right now, but that may soon change. "Right now it really won't impact a whole lot of people, but clearly come summer when people use that road to recreate throughout the north state, then it will certainly have an impact," Kim says.

The Board of Supervisors now has 10 days to ratify the declaration.


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