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Mountain Tunnel Improvements Spur Closure Of Forest Road Outside Groveland

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Groveland, CA — Work by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on the Mountain Tunnel Improvements Project will close a road in the Stanislaus National Forest through the end of the year.

Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor Jason Kuiken has signed an order to close Forest Road 1S28B through the remainder of 2023. He says, “Due to the nature of the work to be undertaken on the steep canyon’s narrow road, maintaining the road open would place the public at risk.”

The project addresses deficiencies of the SFPUC’s Mountain Tunnel and makes needed repairs. SFPUC reports, “Mountain Tunnel is an approximately 19-mile-long water tunnel that has been serving the Bay Area since 1925 as part of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System. It transmits drinking water originating from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir through Kirkwood Powerhouse, where it generates hydropower, to Priest Reservoir downstream. Water flows entirely by gravity through this tunnel, which is unlined upstream for over 7 miles and has an unreinforced concrete lining for 11 miles in its downstream section.”

The Forest Service reports that as part of the restoration project, crews will be doing rock scaling, vegetation clearing, road surface and drainage work, and installation of rock fence/netting.

The $238-million project commenced last year and is anticipated to pick up again when the weather improves in the Spring.