Update at 11 a.m. Thursday Jan. 12: CCWD Crews worked with T&S Construction throughout the night Wednesday to stabilize the exposed water transmission pipeline that provides Arnold’s main water supply. A metal I-beam was placed across the washed-out section of Blagen Road directly over the exposed pipeline, and heavy duty straps were wrapped from the beam to the pipeline to provide stability. These straps will help immobilize the pipe and reduce the risk of failure. Click here to watch a video that shows the flooded creek and washed out roadway.
Though the flooding of Big Trees Creek receded to some degree Wednesday, the creek is still high and debris continue to be washed toward the culvert under Blagen Road. A large pileup of sticks, logs and debris has clogged the upstream side of the culvert and water is rushing around both sides of the culvert and continues to undermine the soil under the roadway. If the pile of clogged debris lets loose, CCWD is concerned that a large log could strike the pipeline and cause it to break. The District’s Engineering and Operations teams are evaluating the situation and planning the next steps to further protect the pipeline until permanent repairs can be made to the culvert and road.
A temporary bridge will be placed across the compromised section of Blagen Road on Thursday January 12. This bridge will allow CCWD to access its primary Ebbetts Pass area maintenance facility, which is near Courtright-Emerson Ball Park, however, the bridge will be closed to the public until further notice.
Original post from Wednesday January 11: The series of storms that has drenched Calaveras County over the past week caused flood waters in Big Trees Creek to overwhelm the culvert under Blagen Road in White Pines. About half the roadway has sustained significant flooding damage and is impassable, and Blagen Road will be closed to the public on the south side of the bridge until further notice.
Along with damaging the roadway, the flood waters washed away dirt and pavement and exposed CCWD’s main water transmission line that serves the town of Arnold and is buried under the bridge across the creek. As of Wednesday evening, the swollen stream is still flowing around the exposed pipe, and the District is concerned that debris in the water could cause the pipe to break. If this occurs, water service could be disrupted to many customers in Arnold.
The District is in the process of working with Calaveras County Public Works to hire contractors to perform an emergency repair project that would construct a temporary emergency bridge over Big Trees Creek and take measures to protect CCWD’s main water transmission lines from being damaged. This project is expected to begin by Thursday or Friday. District crews are closely monitoring the situation, and are taking what measures they can to protect the pipes from damage.
CCWD will post updates about this emergency project when they become available at www.ccwd.org.