Rural Bouquet Creek community rises up over road closure

File photo of Public Works crew putting gate in place on Bouquet Canyon Road. Katharine Lotze/Signal

A rural community set on the pastoral banks of a creek, nestled next to the Angeles National Forest, became galvanized this past week after its only access road was shut down, spurring its residents to act, organize and talk about lawsuits.

It’s been just one week since officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works closed a six-mile stretch of the Bouquet Canyon Road and already someone with a bolt cutter has snipped the chains that lock the gate – twice.

“This is the dumbest decision I’ve ever seen a government agency pursue,” angry Bouquet Creek resident Ed Frankovich told The Signal

On Monday, Bouquet Canyon Road was shut down for six months – over concerns about the flooding of Bouquet Canyon Creek – by officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Work. Weekend rains convinced them to close the flood-sensitive road as a safety precaution, fearing traffic collisions and injury.  On

“About ten of us are considering a class action suit,” Frankovich said.

A special meeting about the road closure has been called by members of Leona Valley Town Council and will take place Monday Nov. 14, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Improvement Assistants building on 8367 Elizabeth Lake Road, in Leona Valley.

County Public Works officials are expected to be at the meeting to answer questions.

There will be plenty of questions, Frankovich said.

Santa Clarita Valley resident Siv Flick had a question about the road closure: “What happens if there’s an emergency and the ambulance has to get in there?”

A check with the Los Angeles County Fire Department reveals there’s no answer in place.

“I don’t know how we’re going to respond,” Inspector Robert Diaz told The Signal Friday.  “We don’t have any special instructions on that.”

If paramedics take the detour forced onto Bouquet Creek residents, a 10-mile drive from Saugus High School would be a 30-mile route through Green Valley.

Diaz said a similar situation in Malibu was resolved with assigned personnel opening the gate for first responders when needed.

A 10-mile trip from Big Oaks Lodge to Saugus High School, for example, is now a 27-mile circuitous route that follows: six miles north on Bouquet to Spunky Canyon Road; 3 miles northwest on Spunky to San Francisquito Canyon Road; 14 miles west on San Francisquito to Copper Hill Drive and then about 4 miles east on Cooper Hill to either Seco Canyon Road or Haskell Canyon Road and back onto Bouquet.

Although the detour is triple the distance of the regular route straight down Bouquet, it’s the character of the detour roadways that troubles many residents.

Spunky Canyon Road is hilly terrain that winds around sudden sharp 400-foot cliff drops.

“That road spooks me to death,” Frankovich said Friday, referring to Spunky Canyon Road.

A week ago, Public Works officials closed gates on Bouquet Canyon Road in anticipation of a rain they feared would flood the creek and make the road unsafe.  The weekend closure became a six-month closure.

They closed the road over fears that flooding would make the road unsafe. A buildup of silt around the road since 2007 has rendered the road prone to flooding.

As Flick asked Friday: “Flooding? Why, when we haven’t see rain for five years?”



on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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