El Dorado County has released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Mosquito Road
Bridge Replacement Project. The preferred proposal would cut off key access to the Slab
Creek reach of the South Fork American River. Last spring saw the first boating releases on
this reach where over 200 paddlers showed up to experience this classic Class IV-V run. Yet,
despite 3 years of community engagement, the DEIR fails to recognize the impacts to recreation
like whitewater boating. The proposed bridge project would construct a new downstream
bridge approximately 400 feet over the river. It would cost an estimated $65 million and would be
the 7th tallest bridge in California. In addition to being used by paddlers the old bridge is
also popular with hikers, climbers and cyclists. The County DEIR proposes to remove the old
bridge once construction is completed and provides zero mitigation for the loss of this
Among the recreational concerns ignored by the DEIR, American Whitewater has repeatedly
communicated that the proposed changes that use distance and no parking signs effectively ends
public access to a navigable waterway and is unacceptable. The Access Fund, a national advocacy
organization whose mission conserves the climbing environment, submitted a comment letter
pointing out that the bridge affords access points for various activities including climbing.
And most recently the organizer of the annual Motherlode Century has expressed removal of
the bridge would put an end to a popular bicycle route described in Bill Oetinger’s book 75
Classic Rides Northern California: The Best Road Biking Routes.
Fortunately, recreational stakeholders can still submit comments to El Dorado County regarding
the recreational deficiencies in the Mosquito Road Bridge Replacement Project DEIR. We encourage
you to send comments to the County that would request the following actions in adherence to the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA):
- The DEIR should include all stakeholder comments regarding recreation in the Mosquito Road
- The DEIR should include the Mosquito Road Bridge Public Access Feasibility Study and
subsequent written & verbal comments made to the Board of Supervisors.
- The DEIR should ascertain and thoroughly evaluate all recreational interests in the Mosquito
Road Bridge area.
- Based on a thorough evaluation the DEIR should identify all significant impacts on recreation
in the area.
- The DEIR should include mitigation for significant impacts to recreation in the area.
- El Dorado County should provide project alternatives in the DEIR that alleviate the
significant impacts to recreational interests.
- Based on the impact to Bureau of Land Management property and recreational interests a
corresponding National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should be
For your convenience, we’ve made it easy for you to file a comment here
! Comments are due by