April 18, 2017

TOO EARLY FOR 80's:

Heavy lifting getting Mount Washington Auto Road ready for season (JOHN KOZIOL, 4/17/17, UNION LEADER)

On Monday, Ferreira drove a van full of reporters on an occasionally white-knuckle ride that was punctuated by some significant ruts and an occasional fish tail on the greasy-gravel portions of the road.

Ferreira stopped the van on the maintenance front lines, within the shadow of the notorious Cragway Drift, whose 20-foot tall snow bank on the southern side of the Auto Road has been laboriously cut, in multiple passes, by a snowcat.

The Bombardier snowcat was operated by Nate Reid and its road-clearing work was augmented by colleagues who used a road grader and a backhoe. Separately, but just as importantly, a two-person team "drilled" holes in frozen culverts with a pressurized hot-water sprayer.

The culverts need to be cleared, Ferreira explained, because if not directed down the side of the mountain, melting water could run across the Auto Road, creating tough going and erosion.

Clearing operations this year began on April 3 and they reached the Cragway Drift on April 14. The effort on Monday was helped by two days of warm weather that at lower elevations saw temperatures in the 80s.

In the days before snowcats and other heavy equipment, much of the Auto Road was cleared by teams with shovels and if the Auto Road opened by the Fourth of July, it was considered a success.

Posted by at April 18, 2017 7:36 AM

  

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