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Yosemite National Park: Major road to be closed for repairs

February 21, 2012|By Jane Engle | Special to the Los Angeles Times
(National Park Service )

Here’s a traffic alert for California’s Yosemite National Park: A section of a major route there will be shut down for more than a month to repair damage caused by a Jan. 22 rockslide.

Starting at 8 a.m. Feb. 29, California Highway 120, also known as Big Oak Flat Road, will be closed to traffic between the Foresta Road junction and El Portal Road (California Highway 140) junction. The closure is expected to last until early April, officials said in a news release.

Yosemite Valley, the park’s most visited area, will remain accessible by other routes. From Merced or Mariposa, take Highway 140. From Fresno or Oakhurst, take Wawona Road (California Highway 41). Note that Foresta Road between Foresta and El Portal will not be accessible.

Much of Highway 120 will remain open, providing access to Yosemite’s Big Oak Flat Entrance Station by way of Groveland, Hodgdon Meadows Campground, the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias and the Crane Flat and Hetch Hetchy areas.

 After the Jan. 22 slide, crews removed rocks and debris and reopened the affected section of Highway 120 five days later. But park officials, working with engineers from the Federal Highway Administration, said the extensive structural damage required rebuilding the roadway, prompting the upcoming closure.

Crews will be working seven days a week, 20 hours a day, to speed repairs, with the goal of reopening the highway before Yosemite’s busy spring and summer seasons.

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