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Old 09-26-2021, 01:41 PM   #1
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Trapped at the RV park!

Trapped at the RV Park!

Well, this is a first for me. We are sitting at Coloma RV Resort in Coloma Ca. We arrived on Friday afternoon, and after bit of a wait, were admitted to our RV site. While researching the park, we noted that it was reviewed fairly well by various recent campers. One of the “warnings” was about the bridge that you have to cross to get into the park. It was built in 1915, and looks like it. It has a max height of 13' 6” and the width is very narrow. I crept across it with approx 4-6” from my mirrors and the iron structures that hold the bridge up above the river below.

On Saturday we got up to discover that the bridge was taped off and barricaded on both ends. A staff member of the park indicated that a local resident (likely DUI) crashed his car into the bridge supports about 2 AM. The county had came out and closed the bridge for further inspection. In the mean time no traffic, vehicle or pedestrian was allowed to cross the bridge. A few hours later some county trucks arrived and someone was working on the bridge, but no further info was provided by the park staff. The next day was Sunday and the bridge was still closed with no further info. Since Sunday is a major pull out day for most weekend campers, tension was building among the folks stuck here.

We finally found a flier (not distributed) by park saying that the bridge may be closed for an unknown length of time! Tenter's that drove cars or trucks were able to exit through a back roads way that required some dirt potholed fire road with some extremely tight twisty switchbacks crowded by over hanging oak trees. The road also dropped off a few feet on the sides in many places, so even a small mistake would be hazardous. RVers with TT, 5vers, and motor homes were forced to leave their rigs and drive out the back road. Many having traveled hours to get here were not happy with no alternatives.

Then to top it off, while researching the net for info about the closure, I found an article from June 2019 in the “Mountain Democrat” that discussed the need for the bridge to be replaced. The following quote is from the article:

Despite upkeep efforts, the bridge has received a failing grade from Caltrans for more than a decade and DOT staff’s preference is an on-alignment alternative that requires demolition of the old structure and building a new, wider bridge in its place*

One of our biggest concerns is that with the bridge closed, no emergency vehicles of any size would be able to access the park, medical, fire, or police. I believe that this kind of information should have been provided by the park so RVers could decide if it was a factor for them. With so many wild fires burning across the west and Ca specifically, this is a roll of the dice in a heavily treed, grassy sloped area.

I know Rving is an adventure, but really?
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:46 PM   #2
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Typical, don't fix it or maintain it until it falls into the river.
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:06 PM   #3
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One would think that they could do an engineering study or shore the bridge up in a couple of days, but obviously that hasn't happened. Hopefully they'll get it open soon regardless of what the long-term plans are.
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:09 PM   #4
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Maybe call the fire dept to see what their backup plan is.
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:12 PM   #5
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I would contact local atty.. you may have cause of action against driver of car.. also good luck for county.. driver just bought a bridge or good chunk of one. I better up my umbrella policy.. just incase.. i wonder what a bridge would cost if i took one down with rv? Just plain scary.. sorry about luck.. how long was you planning on staying there.. good luck and keep us posted
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:15 PM   #6
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Wow unexpected entrapment. Leaving the rv stinks and so does being trappped. Not knowing how long the bridge will be down is the unknown. What if the cold sets in and it needs to be winterized? You said forest fires are in the area. Are you a full timer? How far from home?

Let’s hope the city can find an engineer to clear the bridge to get everyone out then do the work.
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:59 PM   #7
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Worst part is we are getting no info from anyone, not the park, not the county, no one. I even called CHP this morning but all they could tell me that the county road dept is closed today and that they will have the say so if and when it gets reopened.

There are 2 roads out the back, neither are even remotely possible for a vehicle of any size do to narrow dirt roads with steep drops and tight switch backs. I just got back from driving one of them in the Jeep. I met a truck coming up and I had to back up about 50 yards up hill in the dirt next to a 30' drop off.

We drove through the park, it looks like a used RV sales lot. All closed up, empty just waiting.
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:04 PM   #8
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was there anyone who didn't have a toad in which to escape?
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:25 PM   #9
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Wow Sarge, the two of us here are jaw dropped [Moderator Edit] astounded at your predicament. Sounds like an episode of the Twilight Zone. We looked to see where you are so we could better understand the situation you are in. Something tells us that you are surveying that bridge and contemplating it and will be all over the engineers in the morning.
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:29 PM   #10
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The replacement project is a $10 million project, according to an estimate in 2017. It is probably more now. It is hung up in the environmental process.

The drunk’s insurance policy will not begin to cover it.

Engineers are working on this already - I know some of the guys and they are very good at this sort of thing.
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:41 PM   #11
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was there anyone who didn't have a toad in which to escape?
There may have been. Some of the motor homes were shorter and may not have brought a toad. In that case maybe they caught a ride with someone going out the back. They won't even let you walk across to get a ride!
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:44 PM   #12
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The replacement project is a $10 million project, according to an estimate in 2017. It is probably more now. It is hung up in the environmental process.

The drunk’s insurance policy will not begin to cover it.

Engineers are working on this already - I know some of the guys and they are very good at this sort of thing.
I really hope so. This park is OK, but not where I would want to stay for an extended time. You have more info than I do about the problem!
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:46 PM   #13
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Wow Sarge, the two of us here are jaw dropped [Moderator Edit] astounded at your predicament. Sounds like an episode of the Twilight Zone. We looked to see where you are so we could better understand the situation you are in. Something tells us that you are surveying that bridge and contemplating it and will be all over the engineers in the morning.
Looking for someone with a big helicopter!
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:47 PM   #14
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Have you tried calling the El Dorado County Works department directly and asking for a supervisor? With a promise that you're not going to be sharing the conversation around, you might at least get some real information.

(If it was me, I'd call one of my str engineer friends to come out and give me a quick opinion - did the crash structurally weaken the bridge? If not, I'd move some barricades at 3am, make sure my insurance was paid, and be gone.)
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