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Thread: Copper River Highway(i.e. Chitina road)

  1. #1
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    Default Copper River Highway(i.e. Chitina road)

    Hi
    With those November storms that washed out the Richardson by Valdez came a lot of rain in Chitina and damage to the "Copper River Highway"(DOT's official name for the Chitina road). Liberty Falls(? the State campground out side of Chitina) was pretty much washed away, O'Brian Creek bridge washed away, and Haley Creek bridge washed away. Plus lots more slides ect.
    Chuck Derrick (Chitina Dipnetters Association board member) has contacted Gov. Palin's transition team to make them aware of this problem. Last Gov. showed little interest.
    On another point the Director of the Northern Region of DOT resigned after his little incident with the troopers. Link:
    http://newrecovery.blogspot.com/search?q=dot
    I'd talked to him about the situation at Chitina once or twice and he was not helpful. This is a political appointment and I hope they get someone in there who will do a better job.
    Paul Holland
    Board Member Chitina Dipnetters Association
    chitinadipnetters dot com

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Unhappy OBrian Creek

    I don't even think a person is allowed to ford at OBrian Creek with any type of vehicle as it is a "Salmon Spawning Area", so for us that travel past OBrian on the road, not sure what to do. Wonder what some of the slides now look like past OBrian Creek?

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Can we fix it

    Why don't we see about arranging like a work day after the snow melts and come together and repair it ourselves. I'm surte there are enough dipnetters with the know how to make it happen.

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    Default Pictures

    Here are a couple photos of the washed-out Obrien creek bridge and several rock slides before the bridge. These were taken after the flooding in October.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Question Liberty Falls

    Does anyone have any photos of the damage at the Liberty Falls Camp Ground or know how extensive it is.
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKTissiere View Post
    Why don't we see about arranging like a work day after the snow melts and come together and repair it ourselves. I'm surte there are enough dipnetters with the know how to make it happen.
    This would take more than a work day. Unfortunately the canyon is both steep and unstable, and would require $$$$$$ and time to truly fix the road.

    Will be interesting to see if any progress is made to fix the road.

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    Default

    When they were mining at Kennicot it was a yearly thing in the spring to clear the road(railroad at that time). So stuff falling on the road is nothing new.
    My view is that it only needs to be open(State taking on (some) responsiblity for maintaince) mid-June thru mid-August or what have you. Have been down in September for silvers but no one else was there.
    And the State still could post a sign saying they'll do their "best" to "try" to keep it open or if it closes to "timely" getting around to opening it up. Like it is now, with the big sign warning of possible "Death", but with some work and commitment. I can understand DOT's reluctance to take on that road but their approach and plans to "fix it" to lower 48 Interstate standards is way off. Like plans to spend Millions at the first or old slide(at least that's what we called it last summer. The slide that first closed the road back 3-4 summers ago).
    DOT is also under political pressure not to have it open from the Private Large Land Holding Corporations(lets not define Corporations by what race the stock holders are). And the Corps of Engineers has some real hard asses on any road work to be done on the road which hampers DOT's enthusiasm.
    Paul Holland
    Board Member Chitina Dipnetters Association
    chitinadipnetters dot com

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default OBrien

    Can a person legally drive accross OBrien creek in a 4 wheeler, during Summer with the red run on?

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    As far as i know, driving any vehicle across an anadromous (salmon and trout) stream is illegal without a permit. Irregardless if any fish are present.

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    Default Driving Accross OBrien Creek

    What about stopping short of the creek and winching your 4 wheeler accross? Not driving...

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    Hello Dean,
    Just my personal opinion, you will never convince a Fish & feathers officer that you wenched your 4 wheeler across the Obrian Creek. Which now looks more like a river. Not to mention the fact that YOU still have to walk across it. It is like three times wider than it used to be. Most wench cables are only 50' long. I went to Fish and Game, I talked to them about this problem. They said, DOT will have to look at the road and make a determination about building another bridge. If DOT dosent want to or doesnt have enough time, Fish and game MAY allow people and 4 wheelers to cross as an emergency measure. Nothing is set in stone. Its all up to the state. So Make yourselfs be heard.
    What could happen and I hope it dosent is if the native corperation down there rebuilds the campground and bridge, then charges everyone thru the nose to cross.
    If ever there was a time to survey Obrian creek, this spring is the time.

    alaskan100

  12. #12
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AKTissiere
    Why don't we see about arranging like a work day after the snow melts and come together and repair it ourselves. I'm surte there are enough dipnetters with the know how to make it happen.
    This would take more than a work day. Unfortunately the canyon is both steep and unstable, and would require $$$$$$ and time to truly fix the road.
    Frankly, it's more of a political and legal problem than it is an engineering problem. I could have "fixed" the last slide myself with a dozer in hours if I didn't have to deal with the village corp/environmentalists/liability/etc/ad nauseum.

    "Gimme' enough snus and dynamite, and I'll build a railroad to Hell.........."

    Will be interesting to see if any progress is made to fix the road.
    There might to O'Brian Creek, but that's about it.

    The political barriers seem insurmountable.

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    Default Updates?

    Has anyone heard anything about a fix for this yet? Has the state had any response to the requests? Summer is fast approaching.
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

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    Default

    I was surprised to see the statement about O'Brian creek being a salmon spawning creek. What salmon spawn in this creek?

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Question OBrien

    I suppose if we throw carcasses in the creek, maybe some eggs get fertilized??

  16. #16

    Default O'Brien Creek

    According to the "Catalog of Waters Important for Spawning, Rearing, or Migration of Anadromous Fishes-Southcentral Region. Effective September 15, 2006," O'Brien Creek is listes as important for the rearing of Coho Salmon. It is cataloged as stream number 212-20-10080-2295. This means that you have to obtain a fish habitat permit from the Department of Natural Resources Office of Habitat Management & Permitting (OHMP). It is possible that OHMP may issue a blanket permit authorizing ATV crossings. I'll check into that. Here's a link to the catalog:

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/SARR/..._final_cat.pdf
    Last edited by Fullcurl; 03-06-2007 at 08:55. Reason: spelling

  17. #17
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post
    .....This means that you have to obtain a fish habitat permit from the Department of Natural Resources Office of Habitat Management & Permitting (OHMP). It is possible that OHMP may issue a blanket permit authorizing ATV crossings........
    O'Brien Creek is one of a number of waterways which has a general crossing permit status. No application is required.

    Interestingly, Haley Creek and Uranatina River are also generally permitted to cross. Sometime around 1990 ADFG had a sign up there prohibiting crossing at the Uranatina River.

    I'm wondering if that changed after DNR got authority.........

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    Thanks Mark.

  19. #19
    Mark
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    You betcha!

  20. #20
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default Haley Creek

    Do you know if it is still possible to drive (via 4 wheeler) from Obrien to Haley or did the heavy fall rains make some of the slides worse?

    Thanks, great news about the creek crossing

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