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Key route to Yosemite to reopen after rock slide

March 8, 2012 |  1:12 pm

Park

A major route to Yosemite National Park will reopen a month ahead of schedule, six weeks after the road was smashed by a tumbling boulder.

California 120, also known as Big Oak Flat Road, links the park with the town of Groveland; officials said both lanes will reopen at 6 a.m. Saturday.

Repairs were originally scheduled to continue into early April, but officials say a mild winter helped speed things along. 

“When workers dug down, they saw that the road base wasn’t as bad as they thought,” said park spokesman Scott Gediman. “The project’s not done, but it’s done to the point that we can have a gravel road and have people coming back and fourth. It’s a huge deal.”

Since the road was closed Jan. 22, authorities have had to re-route park visitors to one of its other two entrances from California 41 or California 140. Gediman said the park had not seen a decline in visitors, but nearby communities, such as Groveland and Sonora, were coping with a decline in visitors.   

Still, Gediman called the reopening “a huge relief” because the park expects a spike in visitors around spring break.

Park officials said the remaining road repairs will occur over the next few weeks with minimal delays and traffic control.

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-- Matt Stevens

twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Photo: Yosemite National Park. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

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