Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gates not open yet on forest preserve roads

Outdoor enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer until the gates on all forest preserve access roads are opened.

David Winchell is spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 office in Ray Brook. He tells WNBZ the gates are presently closed for mud season and motorized vehicle traffic is prohibited.

"The gates will remain closed until conditions allow for motorized vehicle traffic without any damage to the roads," Winchell said.

The concern, he adds, is that vehicles will sink into the soft dirt and cause significant rutting.

Winchell notes there’s no set dates for opening the gates.

"It depends on the weather," he said. "If we have warm, dry weather the gates will be open sooner. If we have cool, wet weather the gates will be open later."

Officials with DEC also warn there are considerable frost heaves along many forest preserve roads. Winchell also warned of washout.

"The gates will not be opened until we can provide basic maintenance," he said. "This will depend on the availability of staff and equipment."

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