Caltrans spokesman Cory Burkarth said Tuesday that Highway 41 in Fish Camp, shortly south of Yosemite National Park, may reopen March 10 as crews work to repair a hole that ripped open as a result of a flooded culvert and forced the highway’s complete closure earlier this month.
The culvert, 36 inches in diameter, was built in the 1920s and was blocked by debris during ongoing storms, Burkarth said. That caused the hole to rip open on the highway’s southbound side Feb. 9, before it worsened and stretched out to the center of the road, forcing the closure Feb. 21. A new 72-inch culvert is being installed, with about 35 feet of the roadway already dug out.
Crews have so far dug 35 feet down into the roadway, with about 15 feet left in order to install the new culvert and get the highway repaired, Burkarth said.
“March 10 is the new date for hoping to be able to reopen the roadway,” Burkarth said.
Drivers to Yosemite National Park are being detoured along Highway 49 to Highway 140 in Mariposa. Vehicle access to the park’s Yosemite Valley is still only available along Highway 140, officials said, as Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) has also been damaged by winter storms.
Highway 120 will remain closed in the park until at least March 6, officials said.