El Centro Field Office

 "New" Wash Road

Building a road in the desert in the middle of the summer is a daunting task.  Temperatures well above 100 degrees fuel scorching breezes, and relief can only be found in the air-conditioned cab of a dozer.  Miles of empty sand beckon the horizon, and grueling work begins under a glaring sun.

Construction of the "new" Wash Road (a 24 ft. wide road located directly west of the old one) began in July 2009 and and was completed in early October 2009.  Funded with federal dollars, construction costs were held to a minimum by using volunteers, transferring BLM staff from other offices to temporarily help out, and hiring short-term workers from the local community to get the job done.  Additionally, as much of the existing berm material next to the road was used in its construction to keep the costs down.

While the road got its initial boost from federal funding, maintenance of it will come strictly through fee dollars.  Because of this, OHVs will not be permitted to travel on it in an effort to reduce future maintenance costs and increase safety. "No OHVs on roadway" signs are posted along the length of the road (to Wash 25), to remind visitors that the road is designed for primary vehicle traffic only, providing camp access to the washes.   

The road is posted with 15 mph speed limit signs, except in those areas where people are likely to occur.  A 5 mph speed  limit will slow the traffic down near bathrooms, at the fee pad and around dumpsters.  This slower speed limit will help keep the dust down, and of course, increase safety for everyone.



"No OHVs on Roadway" sign.  Photo:  BLM