Replacement of the South Fork Bridge in Wawona is now slated to start this fall.
The South Fork Merced River Bridge, in Wawona, was determined to be structurally unsafe for vehicle traffic after the 1997 flood. Yosemite National Park announced recently the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the South Fork Merced River Bridge Replacement Project. The FONSI records the decision of the National Park Service to remove the existing South Fork Bridge and replace it with a single-span structure, as described under Alternative 2 in the South Fork Merced River Bridge Replacement Project Environmental Assessment. The temporary Bailey bridge would also be removed.
The project will remove a hazardous, condemned structure and replace it with a bridge that will provide adequate and safe vehicle access, be aesthetically appropriate to the scenic nature of the area, and comply with the guidance of the Merced River Plan by restoring a more natural flow in this reach of the South Fork Merced River.
The National Park Service has determined that the proposed project will not significantly affect the quality of the South Fork Merced River and surrounding environment.
Work on this project is scheduled to begin this fall and expected to be completed by the end of 2004.