One of the most beautiful drives in the National Park System is along the Tioga Road that runs across the high country of Yosemite National Park. But can that drive be improved? Yosemite officials are working on a study to determine how, and will visit sections of the road next weekend. And you're invited.
The environmental assessment now in the works will look at rehabilitation options for 40 miles of the road. According to park officials, "the primary goal of this project is to improve visitor safety along the Tioga Road while still preserving the natural and cultural resources throughout the Tioga Road corridor."
If you've driven the road recently, you're aware of its narrow, winding nature, how trees can impede sight lines, and how parts of the road surface are crumbling away. Culverts either need to be replaced, or enlarged, or both, and stoneworks need some rehabilitation as well.
On Saturday, October 9, park officials will conduct site visits along the road from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. These will offer an opportunity for interested parties to learn more about this planning effort. Park planners will be at the meeting to discuss the project and hear comments and concerns regarding the planning effort and proposed rehabilitation actions.
Due to the high elevation of the Tioga Road, the proposed Tioga Road Rehabilitation Project will be completed over a series of three phases. Phases include:
* Phase 1: Crane Flat to White Wolf (2012)
* Phase 2: Olmsted Point to east of Tuolumne Lodge (2014)
* Phase 3: White Wolf to Olmsted Point (2016)
The site to discuss the Tioga Road Rehabilitation Project will take place in two locations along the Tioga Road. Interested parties are invited to join one, or both, portions of the discussion. Visitors should meet at the South Fork Bridge turnout along the Tioga Road (approximately seven miles east of Crane Flat) from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The second site visit will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center parking lot.
Visitors wishing to attend the site visit are urged to wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water, lunch and/or snacks, and wear appropriate attire in preparation for colder weather.
The Tioga Road Rehabilitation Project will be released for public review in spring of 2011. For more information about this project please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/tioga_rehab.htm