Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Old 89A -- bridge, dam, ditch, gauge

I'm still not used to the idea of an SR89A with four lanes of traffic. Nor an on-ramp to a straight-away rather than a curve through rocks in the Dells to cross Granite Creek. In all the years that I've known Prescott, this pretty approach to the bridge is an essential start to the trip to Jerome. In case you've already forgotten, you take a right off SR89 at the Pinon Pines biker bar.

Drive a short distance and there's the old bridge, thoroughly blocked off by both a gate and a precast barrier.

Apparently the old-style railings (above) were sufficiently rotted on one side that they were replaced by more of those dreadful precast barriers (below). I could moan and groan about those barriers for as long as you'd listen; reason? They completely block off the view of any stream that one might be crossing on a bridge. In a dry state like Arizona, a glimpse of water in nature is to be savored, not censored.

Here is one such view (above) from the bridge, looking south toward the Dells. Looking to the north (below), one sees the dam, the gauge and the works controlling the old Chino Valley irrigation ditch.

As my neighbor and I walked toward the dam, I caught this view of the bridge, looking south. Note how un-bridgelike those dang precast barriers make the structure look.

The one shiny new gizmo among this collection of yesterday's engineering is a stream flow gauge operated by the USGS (above), which goes into action if we have flood waters. Below, you can see the start of the Chino Valley ditch which carried water from Granite Creek to farms to the north beginning in 1915. (It probably is already forgotten by many local folk that Watson and Willow Lakes were finally bought by the City of Prescott from the Chino Valley Irrigation District as recently as 1998.)

And, just for the record, a picture of GrannyJ photographing the fallen leaves floating on the still waters of the dammed creek.


Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

One day folk will be seeking this chunk of road a la Rt 66.


azlaydey said...

I used to love driving along this stretch of road. One evening I saw a ringed tail cat......that was amazing. Maybe this area has reverted back to the wildlife?

Kate said...

Just out of curiosity, Granny...
how much time do you spend at that Pinon Pines biker bar? :-)

Jarart said...

Years ago, a truck ran into the bridge railing and took out that whole section. I waited and wondered when it was going to be fixed but then the new road was started and I knew that it was never going to be fixed. I also miss the old house that was on the west side of the creek. It was a picturesque scene with it's red roof in amongst the rocks.

Anonymous said...

@Kate... heee.

Will she answer? ;-)

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

bro -- one would hope so...

lady -- I wouldn't be surprised at ring-tail cats in among all those granites.

kate -- hey, I'm sorry to disappoint everyone, but I never got to the Pinon Pines, so you'll have to ask the dotter.

jarart -- thanks for the explanation for the bridge railing. And thanks for the memory of the old house.

anon av -- see above apology.

diana said...

Hi Granny J, sorry to see your bridge has fallen into disrepair.
BTW...reading stream gauges like the ones in your pics used to be part of my job!

Granny J said...

diana -- in California or in Texas?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had a post of old structures like irrigation ditches, dams, and bridges. They are fun to explore. People went to a lot of effort back then for these structures.

the Boonie

diana said...

Granny, in CA for Hetch Hetchy Water and Power.

Granny J said...

boonie -- you're so right. Nowadays, we wave a hand and talk grandly about infrastructure, without truly realizing just what infrastructure consists of, such as dams, bridges and ditches.

diana -- no wonder you're so knowledgeable about the Sierras.

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