Thursday, July 25, 2013

Paving Bautista Canyon Road ???

photo: Ik Lodsh
Don't you just hate driving on washboard dirt roads ? My wife and I once traveled from Prescott Arizona on the old Senator Highway which is a forestry road all the way to the tiny old Ex-Railroad-Mining town called Crown King, way up in the Bradshaw Mountains. Once there, we went into the general store and I bought her a T-shirt that showed an animation of a guy driving this washboard road and shaking all the way. It had a title that said, "I survived the Crown King Road". Man what a chore that was. I always hated driving washboard roads when I live in Anza. It made exploring and attempting to travel shortcuts almost impossible to enjoy or even worth it. Getting from Anza to Hemet was always a lengthy chore. Either direction it took over an hour depending on weather conditions. Then there was this wild and crazy hair-brained scheme to straighten out and pave Bautista Canyon Road from Anza to Hemet. It always was a Riverside County maintained road, but it just wasn't paved. But there were always those rumors that would sneak up and moments of hope when partial paving would take place and from both ends. The first bit of hope was back in the 1980s when pavement was accomplished on the road between Scrub Oak Ln where pavement at one time ended on Bautista Road and just beyond the turn before Old Comanche Trail. (see here)  

Then there was the pavement project which started a couple of miles before you come to the Bautista Creek Flood Control Catch Basin (not a dam, more like Santa Ana River's Prado Flood Basin). [see here]  This pavement would be accomplished to provide good transport for the new construction of the Bautista Canyon Honor Camp Detention Center. [see here]  But no such luck of it coming further. Still if you ever traveled it in the old days, things were terribly washboarded and rough. Washouts common. In fact in the days before pavement, I believe when I traveled it in the very early 1980s during that massive rainfall flooding period known as El Nino, this creek had to be criss-crossed seven times. Some  places were scary. At the time all I had was a tiny light blue Chevy Luv Pickup. Needless to say I didn't really take it very much. The Honor Camp paving project did pull Bautista Road up out of the Creek in all places but one, which is about a mile beyond the Camp and on graded dirt road. [see here] For those interested in Botany, just about a few hundred feet from the Tripp Flats Road turn off, there is a road on the opposite side which is Forest Service Route 6S16 where up a bit in a dry wash are some beautiful examples of Boxelder Maple (Acer negundo var californicum) on your way up to Thomas Mountain and Rouse Ridge.   [see here] 

But now recently, I actually stumbled across a website which uses a digital image technology with photo simulation for designing images or road design potential adjusting to actual the physical features within an actual real photo. Very kool. So there is actually on the books a virtual paved Bautista Canton Road. For all you Techie-Types, you'll love this software and may have great potential in actually designing good road and driveway applications for property construction on one's own remote rural property. Something to think about before you hire the local flaky "Joe Six-Pack" to randomly Bulldoze the crap out of your land's wonderful picturesque biodiversity.  Here is a quote from below explaining the technology.

"The Bautista Canyon photosims are a good example of photosimulations produced with Microstation and a paint application. A 3D model of the road design was produced in Microstation, as well as the surrounding context as a 3D DTM. the road surface was texture mapped with an image of asphalt and striping. A camera was placed in the scene at the location from which the background image was taken. A wireframe view of the model was 'printed' using one of the image based print drivers, and superimposed over the background image. The wireframe was then scaled and moved until it lined up with the existing condition photo. The wireframe layer was then used as a 'template' to paint in the proposed road and embankments."

Credit: Federal Highway Lands Division

(click to enlarge image)

This photo above is the upper end of Bautaista Canyon Road where it begins to wind down the twists and turns of Bautista Canyon. Seriously, I have no idea how good old Juan Bautista and his team managed this without even a bad road. This is the Canyon as it actually looks today in it's untouched state. 

Credit: Federal Highway Lands Division

(click to enlarge image)

Here is an enhanced image of what the potential for road straightening and finished road pavement construction would look like afterwards. I can just see all the real estate offices and developers licking their chops over this one. Carl Long and Frank DeMartino must be rolling over in their graves with this. I'm kidding of course!

Credit: Federal Highway Lands Division

(click to enlarge image)

This is another view further on down after making numerous twists and steep hillside of the canyon below. I remember after some promising pavings part way up from Hemet and down a few miles from Anza, I was in Larry Minor's Agri-Empire office and he told me they offered the County to construct with his equipment and their pavement the whole rest of the entire road. Who knows if it will really ever get accomplished one day.

Credit: Federal Highway Lands Division

(click to enlarge image)

Here is what it would look like straightened and paved. This portion of the road is very steep on the canyon side and there were never any good turnouts to allow passing. Also it is washboard all the way. One trip on this road and a thin film of dust powder coats the entire inside of your vehicle.

Microstation Setup

"A preferred alternative for the road design was developed by FLHD in Geopak, and the first steps were to produce a 3D Model surface of the road alignment, and a DTM of the surrounding terrain covered by the survey data in Microstation. The surfacing process is discussed in 
 Section 2.2

"Documentation of the location where the photos were taken allowed the creation of virtual cameras in Microstation at the same locations in the project site. Good documentation at the time the photos are taken- noting existing features in the site data, using a high resolution aerial for reference, placing targets, or even capturing GPS locations, can make the camera placement in the 3D model much easier."

Credit: Federal Highway Lands Division

Wireframe view of road surface model. Isn't this imaging kool ?

"The target for the camera is placed in the 3D model so that the center of the viewport matches the center of the background photo as closely as can be determined. If the virtual camera location matches the real camera location on-site, and the target is placed at the center of the background view, the perspective of the camera view in Microstation will match the perspective of the photo. The field of view then needs to be the same or greater than the photo, and the wireframe output from the viewport can be scaled and matched to the photo in Photoshop."

The process for camera matching in Microstation is described in section 4.2

The road surface can be rendered in Microstation with the asphalt texture and the striping in place by applying a material with a texture map, or Pattern Map material applied to the road surface element. The road texture map is repeated along the surfaced road geometry, and rendered in perspective to match the background view. The Pattern Map material application process is shown in section 2.9 the Image Save utility is outlined in section 2.3

Road Surface Texture Map

Painting the Image
"With the image from Microstation overlayed correctly on the photo, the road surfaces and cut/fill slopes will be shown in the right locations and perspective. The cut slopes can then be painted in using textures the match the background photo. Using elements of the background photo, the existing road is then painted out."

Cut Slope Surface Texture

Article Source

And here below is the final photo-simulation again - click the image for high resolution (1.3MB):

Credit: Federal Highway Lands Division

(click to enlarge image)

I was never overly jazzed about major thoroughfares coming up to where I lived in Anza and encouraging more and more people to move up into the wildlands where I lived, but certainly this technology is amazing and beneficial for improving old issues with existing roads. Switzerland is an excellent example of actually caring ecologically about how they develop their very limited landscape. They really do not have any choice, but actually, neither do people living in southern California have such luxury options.

Again, this website and planning also no doubt will excite the old time Real Estate Boys had they been around, but Carl Long and Frank DeMartino are no longer there. I'm sure they had always hoped there would have been a building boom up there one day. I'm sure the news boys like Big Bob Giffin and others would welcome such Even if they paved that road, the fuel prices still would make commuting prohibitive to many. I would say that Nature would be the winner, but well, you know, it's that Global Thingy now.

credit; Santa Barbara Wildflowers
BTW, for the Nature and Native Plant lovers out there. This section at the top of Bautista Canyon Road above from this point & down about 2 miles are some great examples of Chaparral Flowering Ash [Fraxinus dipetala] It's easiest to view them in Springtime when fresh light green growth contrasts with the darker surrounding chaparral plant community. It's one of the few places I have personally found it other than in the Ortega Mountains in Orange county, especially up Trabuco Canyon Road. What I appreciated about the view of the Chaparral Flowering Ash there is it was across the river on a northern slope of the Canyon growing in community with other Chaparral plants. The beauty of this was that with the competition for light and space, and by means of Phenotypic plasticity, it forces the Ash to develop a single slender central leader trunk as opposed to multiple bushy competing vertical branching leaders when grown out in the open. Finally these long tall slender trees pushed through the Chaparral Elfin Forest canopy and branched into a beautiful umbrella form almost as a Lady's parasol-like shape. When out and about in Nature, always look to replicate something in the landscape as found in Nature.

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