Friday Aug 01 2008
Mammoth Bar motocross track closes
By: Bruce Warren Journal Staff Writer
FEMA funds needed repairs, sprinker system
For at least three weeks, area motocross riders will have to find some place else to ride besides Mammoth Bar. The popular motocross track located off Old Foresthill Road will be closed Monday, Aug. 4, when a federally funded track-repair project starts. The facility’s two tracks will be closed for at least three weeks, but no firm reopening date has been set yet. “We didn’t want to set a final date until the contractor starts working and we have a concrete idea when he’ll be finished,” said Mike Lynch, acting State Park superintendent of the OHV track repair project. Installation of a water sprinkler system will minimize soil erosion caused by wind-blown dust. The previous sprinkler system was destroyed by floods two years ago, when the track closed for 18 months before it reopened in August 2007. The sprinkler system will not be automatic, but one person can operate the entire system, according to Supervisor Ranger Brian Robertson of the Auburn State Recreation Area. “We have a maintenance staff assigned to that area and they water it multiple times a day,” Robertson said. The track is used by 200 to 300 motorcyle riders on a weekly basis, depending on the temperatures, Robertson said. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds the project, because flooding caused the damage. Sunscape Construction Inc. of Rocklin has been selected to make improvements. “All the track repair work will be done in compliance with the approved environmental assessment and mitigated negative declaration completed last year,” Lynch said. Most riders interviewed this past week were not aware of the project or the closing. However, many are pleased that the project will create a better track with less dust. During track repairs, Mammoth Bar’s trails and other recreational facilities will continue to be open for public use from 8 a.m. to sunset, seven days a week. There are other trails in the Tahoe National Forest near Foresthills that are open to motor bikes, Robertson pointed out. There’s also a track near Folsom at the Prarie City State Vehicular Recreation Area. When the track reopens, Thursday, Sunday and Monday will remain as motocross riding days from 8 a.m. to sunset. There is a small park fee to use the area.