FISH CAMP — While erosion control measures were compromised following heavy rain in the days after Highway 41 was reopened to traffic en route to Yosemite National Park, Caltrans says the road itself remains safe.
The roadway just south of the snow play area on Highway 41 suffered collapse and failure requiring closure in late February, and reopened on Mar. 12 after an extensive rebuild. Not long after that, the area experienced significant rainfall before the seeding and erosion control measures on the steep slope had a chance to become established, says Caltrans’ spokesman Cory Burkarth.
“Because of the significant rain right away, there was some erosion of the newly rebuilt slopes along the side of the roadway,” Burkarth explains. “We have continued to monitor the road and the material beneath it and we are very confident that the roadway is safe and will continue to be safe going forward.”
Burkarth says the erosion on the slopes above the approximately 100-foot stretch of rebuilt highway has not been major.
“We are going to continue to monitor that area on a daily basis to see what happens and we are going to go in and work to build those slopes back up. The road will continue to be open so residents don’t have any reason to worry about us shutting down that road for safety concerns.”
Besides re-seeding, erosion control and rebuilding the slopes, only plan Caltrans has right now for that stretch of road will take effect later this year, and is still in development stages at this time.
“This summer we will replace the guardrail there with a concrete barrier. We’ll do the northbound side first in early-to-mid summer and we will come back afterwards and do the southbound side in mid-to-late summer. During that work we will be doing one-way traffic control, but we don’t anticipate any full closure.”
Burkarth says crews will be holding traffic for three to seven minutes while the guardrail project is underway during summer months.
In other Caltrans news, the grinding yard for the hazardous tree removal project has been moved from Oakhurst to the Old Mill Site in North Fork. The hazard tree removal work continues along the Highway 41 corridor.
Crews will be working the rest of this week through Friday and next week Monday through Friday. Traffic control/road closure is in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Crews are in the vicinity of Mile Marker 0.7 about one-half mile north of Miami Mountain Road, next to the Forest Service Westfall Compound, moving south.
Caltrans plans to wrap-up the tree removal project for a while, at least, saying it should wind down before Memorial Day.