Caltrans to restore section of State Route 140 damaged by rock slide

A project to restore and reopen the section of State Route 140 that was damaged by the Ferguson rock slide in 2006 are under way, according to the California Department of Transportation.

The restoration would give travelers a direct route to Yosemite National Park and other destinations along State Route 140. There is a temporary bridge across the Merced River to divert traffic around the rock slide area until a permanent solution is built. The temporary bridge prohibits vehicles more than 28 feet long, which includes most tour buses, from crossing and using the detour. The loss of tourism revenue has hurt Mariposa’s economy, according to Caltrans.

Angela Daprato, a Caltrans spokewoman, said debris removal is set to begin in late summer or early fall. The debris removal is phase one of the project. Construction of a long tunnel called a rock shed will begin in 2016. Daprato said that the rock shed will include two sidewalls and a roof to prevent any rock slides from closing the highway again.

Caltrans and contractors will meet on Friday to develop a more definitive timeline for the project.