Miller Rock Project
by Adam Mehlberg
After over a year of reviewing and planning, we finally got to the work part of fixing the south obstacle on Miller Rock. The Motor Vehicle Use Map for the Boulder Ranger District shows FR252 and FR254 on the south side of the South St. Vrain River, but we have never been able to get there (since I have lived here anyway) due to a rock outcrop that had eroded to the point where you could not drive it safely. Motorcycles and ATVs had been able to make it across. In 2016 when we did repairs to the north obstacle I took pictures of the south obstacle and sent them to the Forest Service with a plan on fixing the obstacle. Through our monthly meetings with the Forest Service we worked out what would need to be done to fix the south obstacle. First we had to review the obstacle with a Forest Service Engineer. That happened June 7, 2017. Rick Kilton, Chris Bounds, and I took the Forest Service personnel over the north obstacle of Miller Rock and walked up to the south obstacle. We took measurements and worked out a solution with the engineer. Gabion wire rock baskets would be needed to hold the side of the road in place allowing the slope to be leveled. The Forest Service purchased the Gabions and we planned on a fall project to do the work. The Gabions did not arrive on time. We rescheduled later in the year, but got shut down by bad weather.
The Start. Collecting rocks and jack-hammering.
The new project date moved out to June 9 and 10 of 2018. With our group of hard working club members we hauled in our club generator and all the materials for the project. After lunch we set to work on the rock outcrop with two jack hammers and two chippers. The first task was to flatten an area on the edge of the road for two 9’x3’x3’ gabions. Once these were anchored in we began filling them with rock we hauled from the surrounding area. This took the rest of the afternoon.
The next morning we placed a third gabion, 8’x1’x3’, uphill from the other two. After it was in place we began jack hammering the rock outcrop to level it, and improve the approach width. The material we removed was put into the gabions. Larger rocks were used to build up the side of the road in front of the gabions. Finally we had a gabion filled and started to wire it closed. The second and third followed shortly. Around noon Matt Schwall drove up and over the obstacle with one of the club trailers. Everyone was so beat from all the work that we decided to just pack up our tools and head home. I am sure the public will find these roads that have long been inaccessible.
Moving a boulder.
Pretty much done.