During the month of August, two construction projects will occur along the East Fork Road (NF System Road 667) in the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest. The construction may cause temporary closures and travel delays, but should allow for the reopening of the road to full size vehicles for the remainder of the 2009 season.
In May 2008, a large landslide was reactivated in the East Fork area. The landslide was roughly 40 acres in size, 600 feet wide, 3,500 feet top to bottom and moved a few feet each day. The slide directly affected the East Fork Road — which was moved approximately 100 feet downhill from its former location — and an adjacent natural gas pipeline.
The landslide is located approximately 12 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs in Archuleta County about three miles east of U.S.160 along both sides of the East Fork Road.
On Aug. 10, Xcel Energy expects to begin construction in the slide area. The company will move the above-ground pipeline out of the roadside ditch and up the hill away from the roadway. The work will last for one to two weeks. Generally, the road will remain open to non-motorized uses and motorized vehicles less than 50 inches in width. However, during construction and work on the pipeline, there may be delays, or the road may be closed temporarily to all entry from the gate above the East Fork Campground to the gate at Silver Falls guard station. Access to the East Fork campground will not be interrupted.
Starting Aug. 24, as a temporary improvement, gravel will be placed on the route across the slide. This work is expected to last seven to 10 days. Although there may be short term delays during construction, the road will remain open to non-motorized uses and motorized vehicles less than 50 inches in width.
During both projects, users will need to be cautious around construction activities and equipment. All of the above dates are subject to change, pending construction schedules and weather.
The completion of these repairs and the application of gravel to the route across the slide will allow re-opening of the road to full-sized vehicles for the remainder of the 2009 season. It is anticipated that road building across the slide and slide stabilization work will occur during the summer of 2010. For more information, contact Pagosa Ranger District at 180 Pagosa St. or 264-2268.