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Roamndav

Imperial Dunes Ohv Facilities Threaten Old 80

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Hi all, the Dept of the Interior is adding new OHV recreational facilities on the NORTH side of I-8 west of the exisiting rest stop at Gray's Well. This activity is threatening the remants of original 80, portions of which can be glimpsed as a ribbon of asphalt running through the dunes on the north side of I-8 west of the rest stop.

 

Anyone have any clue as to whether or not the Dept of the Interior has any plans for old 80 or is even aware of its importance???

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Hi all, the Dept of the Interior is adding new OHV recreational facilities on the NORTH side of I-8 west of the exisiting rest stop at Gray's Well. This activity is threatening the remants of original 80, portions of which can be glimpsed as a ribbon of asphalt running through the dunes on the north side of I-8 west of the rest stop.

 

Anyone have any clue as to whether or not the Dept of the Interior has any plans for old 80 or is even aware of its importance???

 

I definitely do not know what the Department of the Interior is thinking, and I wouldn’t put much confidence in the hope they will change their plans so as to save a short section of old US80.

 

But I am fairly familiar with how government works, and the good news is that bureaucrats are human beings…so they look for solutions that are as easy as possible….for them.

 

In this case an easy solution might be to put up a sign at the site describing the history of the road. An impossible solution would be to expect the bureaucrat to tell the OHV community they will have to stay off a short section of an abandoned road.

 

You might drop a note to Pat or Becky and see if either has a suggestion or can help. A kind letter from American Road might get enough attention to get a sign, and ultimately recognition of the road is what saves it.

 

Just a thought, but I figured your concern deserved attention.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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I first read this as an RSS feed with no indication as to who wrote it and my immediate thought was that maybe roammdav could explain. Then I saw it was from you and knew better :lol: I didn't study the area all that closely on my one pass through so am not sure where those remnants are. I know there are some because I've read about them (and we all know where;-). I was under the impression that the old paving at the west end of Gray's Well Road was once US-80 and, since it lines up with the current I-8, figured that this was the start of one of the "buried under the expressway" sections. When I just now tried to fit all of this to a map, it didn't. One of the "don't fits" is: If the remnants are between Gray's Well and Gordon's Well AND on the north side of I-8, then Gray's Well Road cannot have been US-80. There are others although, maybe, if I give up thinking that GWR and/or the older pavement at its end, was US-80, the rest might make sense. Is that my error?

 

Anyway, I think it's unlikely that the Department of the Interior has any plans for old 80 and more likely that they don't know. I'd think a good first step would be to learn who the local/regional DoI folks are and drop them all polite notes merely telling them something they might not know. Post some addresses here and you'll surely get some help from forum members. Responses or their absence might hint at what the next step should be. I'm guessing that a best case might be some signs or maybe some fencing like they've done for the plank road bits on the south of I-8. Once it's been opened, closing something like that is tough.

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As much as I tell the old Hwy 80 at Grey's Well to near Groden's Well is on the south side of I-8. Part of the old Plank Road is also

on the south side of the freeway.

 

Lots of people camp on the south side off old hwy 80 to ride the dunes. On the north side they are making a new canal there replacing the old

canal and there would not be any way to get to the dunes from north of the freeway.

 

I am parked within 10 miles of the rest stop. I get my water and dump garbage there, so I could check it out.

 

Dale

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Hi all...I see there is some confusion, but it's understandable! Yes, Gray's Well Road on the south side of the road *IS* old 80...at least the segment west of the point where it swings away to the SW away from I-8. That was the 1932 improvement. But the part I am talking about is the original asphalt highway that was laid down in 1925-26 that became original 80 in 11/26. Remnants of this asphalt can be glimpsed in the median of the interstate just immediately west of the rest stop...it gradually crosses to the north side where bits and pieces can be occasionally glimpsed. Just as I-8 starts up the big hill west of the rest stop, a good 100 yard section or so of this original asphalt is still viz to the north of I-8 (also viz in satellite views). This is the segment right smack dab in the middle of this new construction.

 

I actually have found a Dept of the Interior document that describes the improvements being made, so I'm trying to contact some of the folks listed. As Denny indicated, trying get get a bureaucracy to change the plans will be virtually impossible, the only really viable option will be to try to make them aware of what they have and maybe get it incorporated into the design. I'm actually looking forward to some of the improvements. Maybe eventually a regular vehicle will be able to get access to that area and see this asphalt up close & personal! Of course, that would only be exciting to a roadie nut such as myself...

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Just a quick update. Well, due to the canal work, we have lost a few snippets of old road west of the I-8 rest stop where the old 1926 asphalt had re-appeared just immediately north of the interstate and paralled it for a brief spell. Since this was essentially inaccesible anyways due to I-8 safety reasons, no major loss there. On the positive, it DOES appear as if a couple of those partially sand-buried snippets norht of the interstate viz as one climbs the large, curving hill west of the rest stop remain intact with the new construction/access road a few feet to the north! This new road when complete will provide the hopelessly and insatiably curious such as myself a way to get in there and take a closer look at this remaining segment of 1926 asphalt. I'm trying to find a contact there in the BLM that is working with this project. Perhaps we can get them to them to add one of those 'interpretive kiosks' there.

 

Jeff in Tucson

(roamndav)

bygonebyways.com

Edited by Roamndav

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