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Trucks haul tons of rock to levee

Linda Hiller

Riprap (`rip-rap) n., 1: a foundation or sustaining wall of stones thrown together without order (as in deep water or on an embankment slope to prevent erosion.) 2: stones used for riprap.

This is a word that has only entered the vocabulary of Carson Valley’s general public recently, as a direct result of the New Year’s flood and the resulting river repairs.

After a long-awaited start on levee repairs nearly two weeks ago, work came to a screeching halt last week when questions arose about whether the requirements of the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act were being met by the Fredericksburg quarry – the Bruns pit – originally selected for riprap acquisition.

The Bruns pit is just across the Nevada border in California and comes under the jurisdiction of Alpine County, Calif.

Last Friday, United States Department of Agriculture and US Forest Service officials scrambled to find another source for the rock.

By afternoon, a site south of town had been approved for the removal of 1,500 tons of rock, and by Saturday, rocks were already being removed by four trucks from Goldstein Enterprises in Minden.

Monday and Tuesday, the trucks were still busy transporting rocks out of the temporary “borrow” pit. Each truck stopped first at Bing Materials on Kimmerling Drive to be weighed. According to owner Gerald Bing, each load of rocks weighed approximately 25 tons.

From there, the huge boulders were being delivered to either the Cottonwood diversion site or the levee site near the Carson Valley Golf Course.

Nevada State Conservationist, Bill Goddard said Steelhead Construction, the Redding, Calif. company contracted to repair the levee, was attempting to complete their contract to repair the Cottonwood diversion first. By noon Monday, the trucks were taking rocks to the golf course area to be stockpiled for levee repair.

Larry Goldstein, owner of Goldstein Enterprises, said his company is willing to transport rocks for as long as it takes to do the repairs.

“We’ll be moving rocks from the Forest Service mine until Tuesday (yesterday), and then we’ll be on the Washoe land moving rocks,” Goldstein said.

Originally, it was estimated that 8,000 tons of rock was needed to complete the repairs. With the 1,500 allotted tons from the borrow quarry, things are looking up, Goddard said.

“They should be pretty well able to finish the work on the Cottonwood diversion by this week,” he said. “And since they’re stockpiling on the golf course, hopefully Eagle’s Peak construction can come in and put the rock on the levee as contracted.”

The Alpine County supervisors – the board who is overseeing the permits involving the Bruns pit owned by Hubert Bruns – met in a lengthy executive session Tuesday to determine the fate of continuing to mine the riprap from the previously closed quarry.

As of R-C deadline time on Tuesday, they were still in session.