FISH CAMP — Good news for residents, commuters, skiers and all Yosemite-lovers: the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) reports that a stretch of Highway 41 that was closed back in February has been rebuilt and is open as of Sunday, Mar. 12.
“State Route 41 north of Fish Camp is being paved now and will reopen to one-way traffic control sometime this afternoon or evening,” said Caltrans spokesman Cory Burkarth in the early afternoon on Sunday.
Caltrans reopened the road to one-way traffic at 5:35 p.m.
“Great work by Agee Construction out of Clovis to get the job done so quickly,” Burkarth says.
Crews used about 300 tons of asphalt in the process of reconstructing the highway south of the south entrance to Yosemite National Park.
The road was closed on Feb. 21 following erosion and failure due to rain, snow and runoff from storms this year. With Highway 120 (Big Oak Flat Road) closed, that left only one entrance into the park via Highway 140.
After digging out the collapsed portion of Highway 41, about one-half mile south of the snow play area, a dam was constructed and three pumps were installed to divert the water, preventing further erosion as the road was rebuilt.
Despite delays due to weather, a new culvert was installed, upgrading the original from the 1920s. The back-filling process was completed and the contractor was scheduled to reopen the roadway to one-way traffic control on March 15.
By late this afternoon, the roadway was paved and contactors were waiting for the asphalt to cool to 135 degrees.
Not even the loss of an hour due to Daylight Saving Time slowed the process further, and Caltrans announced the good news this afternoon.
UPDATE Mar. 14, 6 p.m.: The highway is now 100 percent open in both directions.
Photos courtesy of Caltrans District 6, Cory Burkarth, Mar. 10 2017
Read an earlier article and see photos and video of construction: