Colson Canyon Road has been closed since January.
If you live on the wrong side of that closure, guess what? You better own an ATV, because that’s the only way you’re getting to and from your house. Sounds amazing, right? If you own a business on the wrong side of that closure, you’ve been out of business for almost six months. Wow. Just stellar!
“My employees are still on unemployment, and I’m looking forward to the day I can get back open,” said Paul Antolini, who owns a stone quarry business on the wrong end of Colson Canyon’s giant chasm. “I’ve never been through anything like this a day in my life.”
I can’t imagine. He said he isn’t trying to pass judgement against the folks working to possibly get the road open, “but unfortunately there’s been a lot of bureaucratic delay.”
Yep, the government works in mysterious, excruciatingly slow ways.
Antolini is going to have to wait until the U.S. Forest Service can cobble together a cool $10 million to patch the road. The next round of potential funding from the Federal Highway Administration comes in the fall. The fall.
And even then, that funding isn’t a certainty. Nacimiento-Ferguson Road has been out of commission since 2020 due to fire and storm damage. The road recently received a funding allocation from the Federal Highway Administration, and work finally started on fixing it. Who knows when that construction will be finished.
The road provides popular recreational access to parts of Los Padres National Forest in Big Sur, just like Colson Canyon does outside of Santa Maria. And because John Q. Public has a tendency to be kind of a jerk-off, people who live on the right side of the road closure aren’t exactly in the clear either. Yayhoos will be yayhoos, you know? They just can’t be anything else.
Can you imagine someone pulling up in front of your property and just shooting at things?
It’s happening on Colson Canyon Road.
“A week ago, someone pulled off the road right across from our home and started shooting quail on private property where my neighbor keeps all of her livestock, so it’s a problem,” Mary Andrade said.
That’s an understatement, Mary. Sounds like a dangerous menace to society who could cost someone a lot of money. These lovely visitors are also stealing wood from property owners and trespassing on their property.
“The public,” which sometimes is shorthand for “idiots,” also seems to think driving around the road closure signs is a wonderful idea. They park alongside the road and occasionally “tip over,” because, you know, the road is closed due to it being unsafe to drive on.
“It’s just people looking for some fun, but it’s not safe at this time,” Los Padres spokesperson Andrew Madsen said.
Some people looking for fun could make things harder for everyone in the long run if they aren’t more careful. Residents are looking for extra patrol units to come up and keep “the public” in line.
I wonder what’s in store for residents on this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend?
Hopefully not jerk-offs or idiots, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
The Canary is looking for some fun, but it’s gotta be safe. Send ideas to [email protected].