NEVADA CITY, Calif. January 9, 2017 – The South Yuba State Park at the old 49’er bridge between Nevada City and North San Juan is a local favorite, be that in the summer or when the Yuba runs high. But safety concerns are prompting a temporary closure of the parking lot and the bridge. A massive landslide has brought down rocks, debris and trees into the parking lot.
Superintendent Matt Green was on site this morning, evaluating the slide. The lot was packed with hikers, sightseeing locals and a drone pilot flying his UAV over the raging waters of the South Yuba.
Green is concerned about the public’s safety, looking up the bank where water is still gushing down. The area appears very unstable and cleanup can only begin after the current series of storms is over.
“This is a big cleanup and it’s on us, ” Green said. “We can’t bring any heavy equipment in when cars parked here and more of this can slide at any moment.” Green is working with Caltrans to bring concrete barriers in and CHP will provide traffic control.
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Another major concern for Green are visitors blissfully ignoring the warning signs and venture down as close as possible to the water. “The rocks are so slippery, one misstep and you will fall in,” Green sighed. Rangers were on the bridge, asking people to come up to the relative safety of the bridge itself. Falling into the river this time of year results most likely in death. Hypothermia, churning waters and boulders can trap anyone within minutes and tree trunks floating down the river pose additional hazards.
Parking off Hwy 49 is still available but don’t count on finding a spot close by. Do not park in undesignated spots, besides risking a ticket your vehicle might get sideswiped.
Small landslides and boulders continue to come down on the roadway, be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Caltrans crews are out in force to keep the road safe – traffic control or temporary lane closures can occur at any time.