Footbridge owners complying with request
Original post made on Dec 12, 2007
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 4:58 PM
on Dec 12, 2007 at 8:26 am
Thank you for following through on this subject of footbridge removal that most neighbors of the Iron Horse Trail see as silly:
#1 - if any drain on the Iron Horse Trail is flooded then Danville Blvd will be under >2 feet of water and the San Ramon Creek would be >4 feet above its banks. The Iron Horse Trail's average elevation is at least 2 feet higher than Danville Blvd.
#2 - Except for those permanently installed on personal property or permitted by grant, the footbridges are not attached to the ground, made of wood, and would float on any flood waters causing no obstruction or blockage.
#3 - With the footbridges gone, the risk of injury, and resulting liability for the county, increases because individuals must walk through the drainage ditches, and the typical uneven, slippery slopes and bottom, to reach the trail.
#4 - The county land map for the Iron Horse Trail is not accurate in terms of grants, permits, and grants and permits within leases, for the original SPRR right of way. The county has not provided comparison of such original SPRR right of way documents' agreed fence lines, cross-overs and access bridges established with their current county maps.
#5 - Flood control in Contra Costa County is the function of a State District. CCC-PW provides services to that district but does not act in authority for that district. Much of the Iron Horse Trail drains via private property, without active county or state district easement, as the courtesy of land owners.
Looking beyond the people and events story you wrote well, the actual reality of footbridges, and flood control drains, has not been solved, the rights of access established to the public land have been deminished, and appropriate drainage for the trail and surrounding neighborhoods remains mostly the obligation of private land owners.
Thank you, Natalie, and joyous wishes at Christmas,
on Dec 12, 2007 at 12:43 pm
Hal, regarding item #1 you have posted, localized flooding is a problem along the Iron Horse Corridor. You suggest that Danville Boulevard would be to be under 2 feet of water in order for the Corridor to flood--that is missing the point of localized flood concerns. When there is a significant rain event over a short period of time, the Corridor quickly fills with water. Given the flat nature of the Corridor and in may areas shallow ditches/swales, the water backs up and sometimes overflows onto private property. We are not talking about the entire Corridor flooding--we are talking about localized areas where public water spills over onto private property--obviously something the County works hard to avoid.
Debris naturally catches under many of these bridges--I have seen this during the regular trips I take down the Corridor. It would not take much debris to cause a back-up in one of these ditches--one or two bridges with debris under them increases the likelihood that the ditch would back up, thereby increasing the risk that public water will flood private property.
Regarding item #2, many of the bridges are/were attached to fences or are/were supported by concrete or wood piles in the ground. While a few I have seen might float in a very large flood event, I believe many would stay put. And if a bridge does indeed float away, where does it go? Possibly downstream to become lodged in even a larger drainage structure.
Contra Costa County Public Works Department
on Dec 12, 2007 at 5:02 pm
Excellent exchange, John, and excellent points!
In my neighborhood, any such drainage is the responsibility of private property owners, including me (personally not on the trail), and all bridges were simply across private property drainage channels or across muddy patches created by the lack of drainage provided by the Trail facilities.
By creating an issue of footbridges, John, you exposed the lack of county-supplied drainage of the trail. Then, discovery proved that CCC-PW is only servicing a flood control (state) district and your scope of authority is county land use which has not been properly determined by Right of Way grants and permits.
After the humor subsides, John, we are dealing with your sincere interest to do an impossible job because none of us have enough information to deal with the scope of issues that make "feetbridges" an affect of county drainage issues rather than a cause of drainage issues.
As they say in Television Land, "Back to you, John."
"I am meaningless as HAL"