Weekend closure of Bouquet still up in the air — with the rain

File photo of Public Works crew putting gate in place on Bouquet Canyon Road. Katharine Lotze/Signal
Bouquet Creek residents wondering whether the gates will be closed this week will have to wait a couple of days as county gatekeepers weigh the weekend weather forecast. Two storm fronts are expected to hit the Santa Clarita Valley this weekend, one arriving in the SCV Friday night, the other starting Sunday morning and expected to last all day, according to weather officials at the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Does the weekend threat of rain mean gate closures? “There is no current plan to close the road based on the forecast but that may change,” Vanessa Martinez, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, said Tuesday. “Closures are always dependent on the weather forecast within 24 hours of a storm event,” she said. Public Works officials said at the time the gates were installed that they would close them if there is even the threat of rain. About 10 years ago, the release of water from the Bouquet Reservoir was reduced to a trickle by officials worried too much water would flood Bouquet Canyon Road and create unsafe driving conditions. On Feb. 25, 2014, former County Supervisor Michael Antonovich declared a local state of emergency on behalf of Bouquet Canyon residents. The declaration called for a temporary solution: building gates at the top and the bottom of the canyon so the road can be closed at times, allowing safe release of more water to downstream residents.   The two gates on Bouquet Canyon Road were installed in April 2014, but the flood of water never followed.   In November 2016, 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 Works.   For years, officials representing the county, state and federal government have been trying to hammer out a permanent solution to the flooding of Bouquet Canyon Road.   “Over the last year, biologists have been conducting plant and animal species surveys, as well as soil testing to assess the current conditions of Bouquet Canyon Creek,” Martinez said.   “There is a conceptual project plan that should be completed in March 2019,” she said. “Public Works is exploring state and federal grant opportunities to implement the recommended project.” [email protected]   661-287-5527   On Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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