Highway 49 Southern Tuolumne County Back Open
Sonora, CA — Nearly two months after late March’s wicked storms closed it, Highway 49 in southern Tuolumne County has reopened — great news for locals and road trippers just ahead of the three-day holiday weekend that is also known as the unofficial start of summer.
According to Caltrans spokesperson Rick Estrada, the highway stretch from Moccasin/Highway 120 down to the Tuolumne/Mariposa line reopened this afternoon following the windup of final striping chores. The work scope over the past several weeks included extensive post-flood repairs to hillsides, roadway and culverts.
“There is still some culvert work to be done but we can do that work while traffic is on the road, so there will be some one-way traffic controls in place,” Estrada shares. This latest completed repair on Highway 49 is particularly sweet because the nearly one-hour detour was a significant pain for locals and visitors traveling through the area in and around Groveland and Yosemite.
Today’s news comes on the heels of last week’s reopening of a Highway 132 stretch near Coulterville, as reported here.
Estimates, Forecasts Ahead
Further down Highway 49 in Mariposa County, Estrada says repairs to even more extensive storm damage are currently expected to continue through the end of July.
Adding a cautionary note for motorists this weekend, Caltrans warns that travel over the Sierra mountain passes may be temporarily impacted as the National Weather Service in Sacramento is forecasting a weak storm and cool temperatures. This means that snow levels may drop up to one to three inches of snow over the higher mountains from Friday through Saturday, possibly prompting temporary pass closures.
Officials add that anyone planning outdoor activities for the holiday weekend should be prepared for these storms and have shelter available, especially from lightning. High elevation hikers and campers should also be prepared for unseasonably cool temperatures and snow showers.