Yosemite, CA — Over the past two months Caltrans has removed 63,000 tons of rock and debris as part of repairs being made to a major road heading towards Yosemite National Park.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held back on March 13 for the Ferguson Rockslide project. As reported previously, the estimated $133-million effort will include the construction of a 750 ft. covered structure to protect a stretch of Highway 140 between Mariposa and El Portal. 600 ft. of the highway was covered during a series of major rockslides in 2006. Two temporary narrow bridges were installed to help detour traffic around the slide during the interim.
Fewer work trucks will be out at the construction site over the coming weeks. Caltrans District 10 Project Manager Grace Magsayo explains, “Visual inspection of the exposed slope has caused us to reconsider the lateral design strategy for the rock shed. Our design team is now considering a wall structure that will require us to leave the remaining of the rock to help facilitate geotechnical bores and ultimately help construct the rock shed.”
The first phase of the project is removal of the rock, and the second phase involves the building of the rock shed, which will begin next year. Caltrans is still obtaining geotechnical data to determine the best way to build the structure. Caltrans reports that leaving the remaining rock could actually reduce the final cost of the project.
Caltrans says funding for the repairs was made available via the passage of AB 1973, which was authored by Assemblymember Kristin Olsen in 2012 and eventually signed by Governor Jerry Brown.