If you've traveled Tioga Road through Yosemite National Park at the height of summer, you've no doubt been struck by the grandeur of the high-country scenery. And you've no doubt also noticed the car-clogged trailheads that dot the two-lane road. And the crumbling road shoulders. Well, so have Yosemite officials, who are now beginning work on a plan to rehabilitate 27 miles of the road.
Starting today, February 4, the park is embarking on an Environmental Assessment to study what needs to be done for safety's sake while, at the same time, preserving natural and cultural resources along the road that provides access to Tuolumne Meadows, Tioga Pass, U.S. Route 395 and trailheads for the John Muir, Pacific Crest, Yosemite Creek, Lukens Lake, and South Fork of the Tuolumne River Trails.
According to a park release, the existing roadway surface on this western segment of the Tioga Road is in very poor condition, with no major maintenance repairs undertaken for more than 40 years. The existing road shoulders and road surface have deteriorated beyond minor repair due to poor drainage and subsurface erosion. Currently, there is no designated roadside parking. The informal parking that has resulted is currently causing resource damage. The proposed project would address these issues, as well as others.
Public scoping opened today and runs through March 5, 2010. An EA will be available for public review in fall 2010. Construction is expected to begin in summer/fall 2012 and to be completed by summer/fall 2016.
During the public scoping period, two Public Open Houses will be held, one at the public library in Groveland, California, on February 18th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and one at the Valley Visitor Center Auditorium on February 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
You're encouraged to submit comments online at the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) site at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yose/.
Comments can also be submitted in writing to:
Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
Attn: Tioga Road Rehabilitation (Big Oak Flat Road to May Lake Road)
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
Faxed comments may be sent to: