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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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EAST BAY
Summer road closures will impede access to Mt. Diablo summit
But drivers, cyclists can still get to peak to watch sunsets
Chuck Squatriglia, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The summit of Mount Diablo and its panoramic views will be off-limits to all but the hardiest hikers and bikers for much of the summer, while crews repave a narrow, winding road crumbling under the passage of time and tires.

Park officials announced Monday that they will close Summit Road each weekday beginning today so crews can rebuild the ribbon of pavement that meanders 4.5 miles from the Junction Ranger Station to the top of the East Bay's highest peak.

The summit is a popular place to take in sunsets, so park officials hope to reopen Summit Road at about 5 p.m. each day. That will allow people to spend at least a little time atop the peak, which rises 3,849 feet and on clear days offers commanding views of everything from the Farallon Islands to the Sierra Nevada.

"We want to see what we can do to keep the road open more often than not," said Craig Mattson, superintendent of Mount Diablo State Park.

The park launched a $2.4 million effort to rebuild Summit and North Gate roads, which carry a good chunk of the cars and bicycles that stream into the park each day. North Gate Road will remain open on weekdays but motorists may experience delays. Both roads will offer unfettered access to the park and summit each weekend, Mattson said.

Debra Noorigian of Vacaville hiked the Summit Trail with Adrian Slater of Dixon on Monday and said she'll simply work around the closures. Noorigian, an avid hiker who has been visiting Mount Diablo for 10 years, said the weather Monday was simply too spectacular not to hit the trail.

"It's a little cooler here today than in Vacaville, and the view is just amazing," she said.

North Gate Road carries visitors into the park from Walnut Creek and stretches 7 miles from the North Gate entrance to the Junction station. Crews will patch some stretches and replace others.

The road was built in the 1930s and was not designed to handle so much traffic. Summit Road has also long needed repairs.

"The road is absolutely unraveling up there," Mattson said, noting it took a beating from the winter rain. "It needs to be done."

Well more than half a million people visit the park each year. Mattson can't say just how many go to the park each day because most of them hike in or ride their bikes. Rangers don't count those visitors.

Mount Diablo is popular with bicyclists who often gather at the Junction station to take a breather before conquering the summit. Haun Saussy of San Francisco rode to the top on Monday, and though he said fresh pavement is always a good thing, he didn't think Summit Road was in terrible shape.

"I've seen some really torn-up roads. These aren't bad," he said.

To avoid the closures, Saussy said he plans to leave San Francisco a little later so he reaches Summit Road after 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Although cyclists will be able to use the road to reach the peak on weekends, the ride back down will be rough, because steel plates will cover excavations in the pavement. Cars will have less trouble navigating the road, but the plates undoubtedly will slow them down, Mattson said.

And though people in cars and on bikes with skinny tires will be barred from the summit :)D )when the road is closed, hikers and mountain bikers can always reach it on trails.

South Gate Road will remain open, Mattson said. Although it is slated for repairs, that project will not begin until North Gate and Summit roads are done.

E-mail Chuck Squatriglia at [email protected].
 

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That last 500yrd grunt..

to the lookout Will allways be my nemesis..Kinda wish theyd do something about the road below the lookout and above the ranger station.
 

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Bikes are not banned. The road is temporarily closed in parts while they replace the pavement. Summit road opens after 5 and in open on weekends as well.

Nothing has been banned, but nice scare topic. :nono:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
29Colossus said:
Bikes are not banned. The road is temporarily closed in parts while they replace the pavement. Summit road opens after 5 and in open on weekends as well.

Nothing has been banned, but nice scare topic. :nono:
Andy, you freak.

Didn't you see the following "And though people in cars and on bikes with skinny tires will be barred from the summit ( :D )when the road is closed..."

I might have added a winky, but with your intellect, I doubt you require such overt displays of facetiousness.

Or maybe I was wrong:confused:
 

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imridingmybike said:
Andy, you freak.

Didn't you see the following "And though people in cars and on bikes with skinny tires will be barred from the summit ( :D )when the road is closed..."

I might have added a winky, but with your intellect, I doubt you require such overt displays of facetiousness.

Or maybe I was wrong:confused:
I thought we said: no more words over 3 syllables... :nono:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
zorg said:
I thought we said: no more words over 3 syllables... :nono:
I did a killer ride up in the berkeley hills sunday - down a trail, that shall remain unnamed, up Old Tunnel Road and down another unnamed trail - and up Claremont.

I can't provide any more detail without being strung up for treason.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The deal with Mount D is there have been many accidents involving road bikes hitting small obstacles, such as pot holes - crashin - and being severely injured.

I think what they're doing is a fair comprimise.

I also think it's funny!:)
 

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29Colossus said:
Bikes are not banned. The road is temporarily closed in parts while they replace the pavement. Summit road opens after 5 and in open on weekends as well.

Nothing has been banned, but nice scare topic. :nono:
how i remember the last june when my car club had a meet on mt diablo and we had a group of about 10 cars going up the hill and there were a bunch of guys riding 4 wide that wouldnt get out of the way so we went up the hill doing approx 5mph for about 2 miles till they pulled off.
 
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