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?