Visitors entering the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge via West Spring Meadows Road are now driving on an improved surface between the wildlife refuge’s western boundary and Peterson Reservoir Road.
Crews from Ahtna Design-Build Inc. finished work on the road.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received deferred maintenance funding to replace failing culverts, repair the low-water crossing, rebuild the road embankment, and install riprap (a layer of stones or chunks of concrete to prevent erosion) on West Spring Meadows Road.
The Fish and Wildlife Service also received emergency relief for federally-owned roads funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Federal Lands Highways to repair flood damage to the road.
The October 2015 flood eroded the embankment, damaged culverts, washed away surfacing, and damaged 200 feet of the low-water crossing.
The work, valued at approximately $450,000 completed, includes:
■ Rebuilding the shoulder at three culvert crossings.
■ Replacing small culverts with larger culverts and riprap.
■ Repairing the low-water crossing, stabilizing it with geotextile (permeable fabric) and riprap, constructing concrete cut-off walls for added protection, and covering the crossing with hot mix asphalt pavement.
■ Rebuilding the road embankment along the narrow portions of roadway from the low-water crossing to east of the Carson Slough.
Additional work is scheduled for January 2018, as a new arc culvert will be installed under West Spring Meadows Road over the main channel of the Carson Slough.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has a contract with Otis Bay Ecological Consultants to perform the work.
The Fish and Wildlife Service will keep the public and its neighbors informed of any temporary closing of West Spring Meadows Road while Otis Bay completes the culvert installation. Any additional notifications will be issued to this newspaper and posted on Facebook and at www.fws.gov/refuge/ash_meadows
The Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 30 miles northwest of Pahrump in Nye County, was established in 1984 under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.
It covers nearly 24,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and desert uplands that provide habitat for at least 26 plant and animal species that occur nowhere else in the world.