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California in Brief / YOSEMITE

Roads closed by snow, construction

December 08, 2007|Eric Bailey

As the season's first big storm forced the closure Friday of several High Sierra roads in Yosemite National Park, road crews prepared for a major construction project that will shut down one of the park's key crossroads during late-night hours throughout winter.

In what has become an annual rite in the park, the first heavy snows prompted the closure of Tioga Road, the major east-west highway across Yosemite. Also closed until the spring thaw were Glacier Point Road and the asphalt lanes into Mariposa Grove.

On Sunday evening, a three-month project will begin near the junction of Highways 120 and 140. Caltrans officials said the road is at risk of falling into the Merced River because of erosion.

The road will be shut down from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays until March 23. The work is taking place during winter because that is when river flows drop to their lowest levels and allow greater access by construction crews.

-- Eric Bailey

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