Forest Service culvert project will close East Brush Creek Road Aug. 5 through Sept. 7
Forest Service drainage structure work will also affect Wearyman Road east of Red Cliff
He doesn’t have traffic counts to prove it, but when he has driven up to his Fulford cabin this summer, Larry McKinzie has noticed a lot more cars on East Brush Creek Road.
COVID-19 has brought more visitors to the great outdoors — places like Yeoman Park, Fulford, Nolan Lake and the other locales that are accessed off of East Brush Creek Road. But folks will have to make different access plans for the next month as the U.S. Forest Sevice shuts down the roadway for a culvert replacement project.
The Forsest Service announced this week it will be temporarily closing East Brush Creek road for much of August and into September “to conduct important road maintenance.”
About 3.5 miles of East Brush Creek Road (FSR 415.1) south of Eagle, will be closed from Aug. 5 to Sept. 7 to replace a failing culvert at the upper East Brush Creek crossings. The road will be closed from about three miles above the intersection with the main Brush Creek Road, where the road begins making “S” curves, to the intersection with Forest Service Road 416 at the winter snowmobile parking area.
Visitors with high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles will be able to access the area above the closure by taking FSR 400 (West Brush Creek Road) to FSR 416. Visitors with trailers, campers or passenger vehicles are discouraged from using the alternate route because FSR 416 is a high-clearance, four-wheel drive road.
McKinzie agreed with the assessment that drivers should use care before tackling the route.
“I drove that a couple years ago and I have a four-wheel drive pickup I drove. I wouldn’t take my Subaru there,” he said.
The Forest Service announcement noted that the alternate route accesses Nolan Lake, New York Mountain, Lake Charles, and Iron Edge trails in the Mount Holy Cross Wilderness, the Fulford Cave Trail, Yeoman Park and Fulford Cave campgrounds. It also accesses the Peter Estin, Polar Star and Seipel huts.
Yeoman Park and Fulford Cave campgrounds will remain open to limited camping during the road closure and no fees will be charged. Campers will need to be self-sufficient because the campground restrooms will be closed and digging cat-holes is prohibited. Campers will need to pack out their own trash.
“We appreciate the public’s patience as we complete this important maintenance to keep our roads sustainable for the public,” said Leanne Veldhuis, the Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger.
“I am glad they are fixing it. It really needed to be fixed,” McKinzie said. “There is a lot of water that is getting in the road. Right above the yurts the road is really rough and it has been for a year or so. There is a stretch there that really needs some work.”
The USFS also announced that road closures of up to 30 minutes will occur on the Wearyman Road (FSR 747) east of Red Cliff beginning the week of Aug. 3 and continuing through Sept. 15 as the Forest Service constructs drainage structures from Ptarmigan Pass down to the beginning of the McAllister Road (FSR 708), as well as re-shapes two creek crossings in the upper section.
The connector section of FSR 747 to the Shrine Pass Road (FSR 709), which was closed last year because of a landslide, will remain closed for the 2020 summer/fall season.
The Forest Service additionally noted that crews are currently working on West Lake Creek Road (FSR 423) south of Edwards. The road will be closed through July 31.
For additional information, call the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District at 970-827-5715. Additional information and maps of the closures are available under “alerts” at https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.