Six Mile Canyon Remains Closed, Repairs Continue
The winter was a challenging one for road crews, who are still repairing damaged infrastructure after large rain storms in January and February. Six Mile Canyon has been closed for nearly three months, and repairs are ongoing.
The winter was a challenging one for road crews, who are still repairing damaged infrastructure after large rain storms in January and February. Six Mile Canyon has been closed for nearly three months, and repairs are ongoing. High creek flows washed out multiple portions of the two-lane road, including culverts. Water also damaged the shoulders of the road.
"We had water drainage through this canyon to the likes that many people haven't seen in their lifetime," Jason VanHavel, Storey County Public Works Director said.
Six Mile Canyon Road is vital for travel between Virginia City and Dayton but it is only open to emergency vehicles and school buses until repairs are completed.
"Many people use it as commute routes," VanHavel said. "It's two communities even within Storey County are separated by this road and this is the main link between those two communities."
Crews have moved about 1,000 yards of material into the area. Most of it is heavy rock that is supposed to withstand drainage in the future. Repairs are expected to cost $350,000 and most of the work is finished. While the culverts have been replaced and the washouts have been filled, VanHavel says the road is not safe enough for the public because there are patches of gravel on the paved road.
"If the public is not expecting it to suddenly become gravel, the speeds would not be conducive for the gravel and you could lose control of your vehicle," VanHavel said.
Heavy equipment and blind curves present more danger to the public, and anyone who drives on the road without authorization could face a fine of nearly $200.
VanHavel says it is hard to speculate when the road will re-open because it depends on the weather. About two weeks without precipitation is needed to make the necessary repairs.
"It should be open within two months," VanHavel said. "During that time period, I would expect a dry period but it really comes down to Mother Nature."
While most of the work is geared towards road improvements, it is also intended to help the natural aspect of the creek that runs through the canyon.
"We've also made some provisions to be able to protect areas, so the creek can move around very naturally and it'll still protect the road, protect the culverts," VanHavel said.
Other work includes the replacement of safety features like sign markers, shoulder repairs, pavement, and striping.