River Access Mosquito Road Bridge (CA)
Originally built in 1867 and reconstructed on the existing foundations in 1939, Mosquito Road Bridge is often called the “Swinging Bridge” in reference to the physical nature of the original suspension cable bridge. Today this historical single lane bridge serves as one of two routes to and from the community of Swansboro. Car enthusiasts get a thrill driving their muscle cars on the winding switchbacks that lead to the bridge. And of course many folks use the bridge as a vital access point to the waterway flowing beneath, the beautiful South Fork American River below Slab Creek Dam.
Currently, the Transportation Division of El Dorado County in Placerville, CA is in the process of updating a Mosquito Road Bridge Replacement Study that will outline alternatives for a new bridge to be constructed in 2018-2019. Identified as one of the key take-outs for the Class IV-V Slab Creek whitewater reach, American Whitewater believes this is the perfect opportunity to advocate for river access improvements.
The County has carried forward concepts of river access from an initial study done in 1993 and will use recreation and river access as evaluation criteria. However, American Whitewater recommends a process that would help the County stay in Compliance with California Streets and Highway Code 991, which states –
”Before any bridge on a county highway is constructed over any navigable river, the board of supervisors, after a study and public hearing on the question, shall determine and shall prepare a report on the feasibility of providing public access to the river for recreational purposes and a determination as to whether such public access shall be provided.”
American Whitewater comments to El Dorado County Community Development Agency Transportation Division regarding the Mosquito Road Bridge Project can be found HERE.
During this process comments from whitewater boaters are needed as well!
An online form for comments can be found on the Mosquito Road Bridge Project Website. Please emphasis the importance of Slab Creek as a recreational resource, the importance of Mosquito Bridge as a take-out and the importance of navigability and access during construction.
American Whitewater hopes to further engage the County regarding the opportunities to improve public access at Mosquito Road Bridge. In the meantime, stay tuned for information regarding recreational flow releases for Slab Creek coming your way in Spring 2015.