Yosemite National Park, CA — Park officials share some bright bits of news along with the bad, regarding current access to Yosemite Valley.
Jamie Richards, Yosemite National Park Ranger and Spokesperson was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
Leading with the bad, extensive needed repairs on the Highway 120 extension Big Oak Flat Road into Yosemite Valley — where travel has been difficult to impossible since late February — are continuing to provide some serious challenges to park and Federal Highway Administration (FHA) officials.
As of today, the latest word is they are still working with contractors to completely assess the situation and implement a repair plan; so there is not yet any estimated date for the road to reopen.
Due to this winter’s significant rains and snow, park officials say saturated undersoils sliding downhill are growing a large fissure in over 200 feet of the roadway that has yielded unsafe driving conditions across both lanes.
Richards stated, “This road closure places a burden on the surrounding communities and we are working as quickly as we can to get the road reopened safely. Although I would love to give a projected opening date, we really can not. This is an extensive project.”
She added that the park appreciates FHA’s assistance in expediting the project as well as the patience and support of communities along the Highway 120 corridor.
On the bright side, visitors are still able to get into Yosemite National Park using the Big Oak Flat entrance, just not the affected part of the roadway. Crane Flat and the Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias, all popular attractions, are also accessible. For those who are able to get to the Big Oak Flat entrance, the entrance fee is temporarily being waived. The fee at the Hetch Hetchy entrance is also being waived.
Fees still apply to all entering via Arch Rock and South Entrance stations.
Too, Wawona Road/Highway 41 is currently open although under one-lane controlled traffic. El Portal Road/Highway 140 remains open, although travelers should remain cautiously aware of potential rocks and roadway debris.
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.