While an AT&T crew was clearing Lompico Road and repairing the downed lines that left a dozen customers without telephone service, Lake Boulevard — a single-lane thoroughfare in Lompico — was the only entrance and exit for residents of more than 500 canyon households.
“It is the only emergency exit from Lompico,” said Lyle Fleming, president of the Lake Boulevard Road Association.
Lake Boulevard was open for use only because of a crucial repair completed Dec. 11, 2007, funded and constructed by residents of Lake Boulevard to fix a 120-foot section of road that was damaged in mid-2006.
The residents’ Lake Boulevard Road Association teamed up with residents of Lompico to raise $80,000 to pay for the construction of a bridge located just after the first switchback above the lower connection to Lompico Road.
Much of the repair work was completed by local residents, except for parts
that an engineer was required to build, said Ed Frech, who lives near the newly
Don McVay, a resident, was the project manager.
“Some people put in eight (to) 10-hour days,” Frech said. “We had 10 to 15 people out there. Even children were helping out.”
Frech said a letter was sent to everyone in Lompico Canyon, which returned about $8,000 in donations to the project. A fundraising benefit at the Trout Farm Inn helped, as did Central Home Supply, which sold rebar for the project at cost.
The LBRA also asked $1,850 from each of the 50 households on Lake Boulevard and connecting Visitar Street.
“There’s no one person that deserves more (credit) than the other,” Frech said.
“Everybody has done something.”
Lake Boulevard closed April 11, 2006, when a water main broke, releasing 250,000 gallons that washed away the hillside. The roadway remained intact, but it was unsafe for auto traffic.
In 2006, canyon residents, the Lompico County Water District and Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mark Stone formed a task force to seek Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to repair the road.
The funding never came through, so in September 2007, LBRA members took the project up themselves.
Construction began Oct. 1 and was completed Dec. 11, 20 months to the day after the road washed out.
The roadway is supported by 30 helix coils, some of which are driven 25 feet into the ground, Frech said. If the soil underneath the road was to wash away, the section of pavement would be elevated on the coils and look like a true bridge.
“It’s a marvelous piece of work,” Fleming said. “There’s some magnificent architecture up there.”
The work is not fully completed, however, Frech said. The roadway on both sides of the bridge still needs pavement to keep it from washing away, which is likely be completed this spring.