Pipeline to affect Bouquet Canyon Road

FILE PHOTO: Bouquet Canyon Road. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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Access to Bouquet Canyon Road, already spotty with periodic closures due to rain and safety fears about flooding, is expected to get even more precarious as work on the LARC Ranch pipeline gets underway this year.

And that is good news for the water-starved ranch serving developmentally disabled children.

For about five months, about 100 feet of pipeline is scheduled to be built each day connecting LARC Ranch to the Santa Clarita Water Division at Shadow Valley Lane, according to report presented to members of the Castaic Lake Water Agency board this week.

The Santa Clarita Water Division is one SCV’s three main water retailers and is owned by the CLWA.

Construction could get underway as early as June, according to consultants hired to prepare a report on the pipeline’s impact on the environment.

However, Keith Abercrombie, retail manager for the Santa Clarita Water Division, said “construction likely won’t start until late 2017 or early 2018.

“We anticipate completion by end of 2018,” Abercrombie told The Signal Thursday. “We are currently finishing up the supporting documents that the State Water Resources Control Board requires for the Grant Application that LARC is pursuing to fund the pipeline construction.”

Construction of the two-mile pipeline is to take place between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.

It’s expected to include a backhoe, two trench diggers, two “off-highway” trucks and traffic control measures such as delineators, signs and flaggers.

The pipeline contractor is expected to build an on-site pump station which includes a backhoe, utility truck, welder and water truck.

The work is expected to result in five work-related “vehicle trips” on Bouquet per week.

Laying the actual pipe means excavating a trench 30 inches wide. The pipeline through LARC Ranch property will connect to a “service meter” at Bouquet Canyon Road, run east underneath the existing access road, then cross Bouquet Creek via an existing pipeline bridge and then connect to a proposed pump station.

Construction equipment and machinery are to be stored on two staging areas.

Some of it is to be stored on the Kenyon Scudder Detention School property, the rest of the equipment is to be stored next to LARC Ranch buildings.

CLWA board members were briefed about the LARC Ranch water pipeline Wednesday and given an environmental impact report prepared by Meridian Consultants, based in Westlake Village.

Plans for a LARC pipeline got under way in the fall of 2015 when ranch officials decided to pursue a permanent alternative to failed political efforts at restoring the reservoir water they need.

Record rain and a recharged groundwater supply so far this year won’t change plans for a permanent pipeline.

“In spite of recent rains and improvements in local groundwater levels, LARC is still interested in completing this important project which will provide a permanent, reliable source of supply (water),” Abercrombie said Thursday.

“We are working closely with the State Water Resources Control Board and with LARC representatives to keep this project moving forward as expeditiously as possible,” he said.

The proposed pipeline would extend nearly 1.75 miles north along Bouquet Canyon Road from near Shadow Valley Lane to the LARC Ranch. The cost would be about $2.5 million.

LARC Ranch

LARC was founded in 1959 by a group of parents who envisioned a better life for their developmentally disabled children. The 65-acre LARC Ranch provides homes, recreation and social activities, and day training activity centers for developmentally disabled adults.

It’s Executive Director Kathleen Sturkey announced in June 2015 that ranch officials would look for a permanent water supply in light of the ongoing impasse to see the ranch’s previous supply — water released from Bouquet Reservoir up the canyon — returned to its normal levels.

Water released from the reservoir was reduced to a trickle by officials worried about the flooding of Bouquet Canyon Road.  Consequently, LARC began trucking in the water it needed.

By November 2014, 10 months after water from Bouquet Reservoir was reduced to a trickle over concerns about flooding and road safety, ranch officials reported spending at least $168,350 on water trucked into the facility.

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