MWD Board Investigates Possibility for Pedestrian Access on Dam (Once New Bridge Is Built); Residential Seawall Will Need to Be Mitigated by Artificial Fish Habitat

The Board of Directors of the Big Bear Municipal Water District, at their regular meeting on April 2, discussed railings for the Big Bear dam, which is part of a bigger project the MWD hopes to implement once the new Big Bear bridge, just southwest of the dam, is completed in 2011. Once the new bridge for Highway 18 is completed, the existing roadway over the dam will be removed; but MWD staff will still need vehicle access to the dam and gates, to service these as needed. “The idea,” per MWD General Manager Scott Heule, “in a perfect world, would be to replace the highway bridge with a pedestrian bridge and we’re working closely with CalTrans on funding for that.” Heule tells KBHR that the primary intent is for staff’s dam access, though the MWD is investigating the possibility of opening this area for a walking and/or bike path across the lake. To that end, railings and fencing options were reviewed, in terms of appropriate height and lakeview access from the new bridge. Heule says that, in recent months, they’ve learned a great deal about bridge design and, he adds, “Any decision on railing design is way bigger than the MWD.” Before any decisions are made, the MWD plans to develop a select task force so the community will have input on the project. However, permits from the U.S. Forest Service and a CEQA review will first need to be completed—but, again, this dam project will not be implemented prior to completion of the new bridge in 2011.
In other news from Thursday’s MWD meeting, the Board did approve the seawall, to be constructed at a residential property on Lake Drive at Afton Road. The mitigated negative declaration for the 25’ seawall was adopted, so the applicant will be required to pay for the purchase and installation of an artificial fish habitat, to be the approximate size of the wall. As this was a precedent-setting decision, district staff will investigate the cost for materials and installation of the habitat to off-set the wall; preliminary findings by the MWD suggest that cost may be in the hundreds of dollars.

The Big Bear Lake dam and the existing roadway, as taken on a colder day.

The Big Bear Lake dam and the existing roadway, as taken on a colder day.

Related posts:

  1. MWD Board to Review Dam Bridge Railing and Proposed Seawall During This Afternoon’s Regular Meeting
  2. Let’s Build a Bridge: Local Officials Come Together for Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Big Bear Bridge
  3. City Staff to Give Presentation on Lake Access Points During This Afternoon’s Meeting of Municipal Water District Board