Road 102 just off the Woodland Trace National Scenic Byway leads to the Nickell Branch recreation area. An estimated 15 thousand people frequented the 1.2-mile gravel route last year. Heavy rains we received lately left it a bumpy road and in need of improvements.
Kevan Paluso, transportation program manager at Land Between the Lakes, took me and Customer Service Manager Jeff Laird with him to see Road 102 first hand. Kevan pointed out features and described a project proposal during a recent site visit.
Where most people simply see a scarred gravel road, Kevan sees damage, roadside swale restoration, and missing lead-off ditches. He is developing a Federal Lands Transportation Program proposal to improve the popular route while reducing future maintenance needs.
I saw user created pull offs and trails that branched off Road 102 like fingers. These gashes mar the roadside landscape and are unsupportable as part of the larger road network. Users created trails off road, damaging the road and forest. A future proposal may include mitigation measures for some of these features.
To fix other problems, Kevan proposed 18-inch drainage culverts to keep the roads dry, prevent road washouts and wet spots. Kevan showed us where reshaping will help water flow evenly off road surfaces and allow our visitors to enjoy their drive.
Check back here for updates regarding the proposed road 102 project.
Follow this link https://www.flickr.com/photos/lblkytn/albums/72157663263400776/with/23879057013/ to see photos of damage caused by natural disasters at Land Between the Lakes.
Submitted by Joshua Frye, Public Affairs Specialist at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
Roadside swale restoration – Roadside swales help maintain a dry roadbed. Grading keeps the centerline of the road above the edges. Swales also store water run-off as it flows across a road surface.
Lead-off ditches – Lead-off ditches move water beside a road or trail until it is diverted into vegetated areas away from lakes, wetlands, and streams.