Ahh spring in the national parks. It's a great time to witness the arrival of wildflowers, wildlife on the move, and, in more than a few parks, the road crews with their orange vests and flags. In Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, these crews will be highly visible this summer, much to the chagrin of drivers.
From now through mid-November crews will be working Monday-Friday in these two neighboring parks on road-sealing projects. As a result, motorists are being warned that they could encounter delays of up to 15 minutes between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
According to a park release, roughly 95 percent of all roads and parking areas in the two parks will be receiving a surface seal treatment this summer. This project, park officials add, is happening at the same time as other construction in the parks. They say that efforts "will be made to coordinate delays with scheduled pass-through times for the Generals Highway construction zone to reduce any inconvenience to travelers."
Some facilities, including Panoramic Point Road, Crescent Meadow/Moro Rock Road, and Mineral King Road areas, will be closed briefly (24-48 hours) during the seal treatment project work.
The tentative schedule for seal treatments in Sequoia National Park during the next two weeks is as follows:
* Generals Highway: Sequoia National Park Entrance (Hwy 198 and the Generals Highway) to Amphitheatre Point (which is located 11 miles inside the park) including turnouts (Tunnel Rock, Entrance Station parking, etc.) – May 11-18
* Mineral King Road – May 11-12 & May 16-18
* Buckeye Residence Roads, driveways, & Canyon View Drive – May 19
The schedule for the next two weeks in Kings Canyon National Parks in the Cedar Grove area is as follows:
* Cedar Grove Road: From Roads End to west park boundary including turnouts – May 23-26
* Roads End Parking: Copper Creek Trailhead and long-term parking lot only – May 23
* Cedar Grove Residence Road, Cedar Grove Housing Area, and Cedar Grove Maintenance Shop – May 19, May 23-25
The seal treatment is a phased project, so multiple tasks may take place simultaneously throughout the park, according to park officials. Current work, or Phase I, includes preparatory work such as pothole patching, sealing cracks, sweeping, and cleaning. Phase II includes application of tar, rock chips, and road oil to seal the road surface for prolonged life.