Project Update – Progress At Prison Hill

NOHVCC has been providing updates about our work at the Prison Hill Recreation Area outside of Carson City, Nevada.  If you missed the updates check out:

Strong Partnerships and Grant Funds Bring NOHVCC to the Battle Born State

Learn More About Prison Hill Recreation Area Near Carson City, NV – Site of the 2019 NOHVCC Mobile Workshop

2020 NOHVCC Year in Review

Prison Hill Recreation Area Volunteer Work Day A Success As NOHVCC Efforts Continue

The below was taken from a progress report on recent activities at Prison Hill OHV Area prepared by Dick Dufourd.

Since November 11, 2021, Horizon Construction, LLC has been working on the Prison Hill OHV West Basin Project Change Order #1. This contract was modified slightly to address additional drainage needs and route adjustments necessitated by the record rain event on October 25. Horizon Construction and Carson City Parks, Recreation & Open Space staff have done an excellent job implementing the goals and vision for this project. As a result, there have been significant, positive changes to the look, feel, and function of Prison Hill.

Project Goals:

  • Increase OHV riding opportunities and experiences by constructing new routes that connect existing routes and features together in logical loops.
  • Replace non-sustainable fall line routes with serpentine routes that have grade reversals, are self-maintaining, and provide a higher riding experience.
  • Start addressing the significant and historic erosion issues at the site by installing drainage structures, erosion control structures, adding sustainable routes, and closing non-sustainable routes.
  • Increase aesthetics by closing severely eroded routes and/or heavily impacted areas, and narrowing over-width areas on routes to remain open.
  • Decrease potential impacts to washes by installing filters on the most difficult wheeler routes that only allow passage by adequately equipped vehicles and/or adequately skilled drivers.

Project Achievements:

Erosion occurs when water volume and velocity increase to the level where soil particles can be dislodged and displaced. Erosion is a natural process that can never be stopped, but it can be managed by implementing methods that reduce water volume and/or water velocity. There is still much to do, but this project has taken some major steps in reducing erosion potential.

Rock check dams are installed below route drainage points and in feeder washes. They are designed so that water flows through them, but they significantly reduce the volume and velocity of the water so that sediment gets deposited above the check dam while decreasing the risk of particle displacement below the check dam. This project will have installed 34 check dams.

Rock containment dams have the same function and are placed in larger washes. As such, they are larger and utilize larger, heavier rock. Five containment dams have been constructed.

Rolling dips and drains are installed generally on existing routes. By getting water off the route at regular intervals, we are again reducing the volume and velocity of the water running down the route. The effect is increased by reducing the interval between drain points. About 40 drains will have been installed with this contract.

In total, 79 drainage/erosion control structures will have been installed.

There have been 16 segments, or 1.7 miles of new routes constructed. These provide connectivity, sustainability, and high fun factor while reducing high impacts elsewhere.

There have been 13 segments, or 2.2 miles of routes reconstructed. These routes have had drainage structures added, donikers (protruding rocks) reduced and, in some cases, have been narrowed to increase aesthetics.

About 13 route segments, or 0.7 miles, have been closed and rehabilitated. This includes ripping, scarifying, installing waterbars or other drainage structures, placing boulders to deter access and enhance the natural appearance of the closure, placing brush and debris, “planting” suitable brushy debris, which is called vertical mulching, and seeding with an approved native seed mix. Brush that was cleared during route construction was saved, stockpiled, and hauled to the sites to be rehabbed. This extra effort has dramatically improved our rehab efforts.

The West Summit Loop Road had three areas slated for route narrowing. Here, excess width was ripped, scarified, seeded, and boulders imbedded. This is still a drainage point, so a rock containment dam was constructed. Work like this enhances the visual appearance of the route and Prison Hill.

Enhancing the quality of the rider experience is a key objective. Technical features add challenge and fun, but they also increase the length of the ride time by offering slow speeds and opportunities for spectating and socializing. The Toad Rock Loop provides 15 of these technical sections.

The east side of the Toad Rock Loop had terrain suitable for a rollercoaster. Fun and flowy, this is about one-third of it.

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