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After closure due to rock slides, major highway to Yosemite reopens

Caltrans officials discuss Highway 41 closure

Elizabeth Yeldon, spokesperson for Caltrans, discusses the closure of Highway 41 in eastern Madera County. The roadway was closed due to rock slides.
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Elizabeth Yeldon, spokesperson for Caltrans, discusses the closure of Highway 41 in eastern Madera County. The roadway was closed due to rock slides.

Highway 41 near eastern Madera County reopened Friday afternoon, after rock slides closed the highway for two days.

At around 1:30 p.m. Friday, Caltrans cleared the cones and signs detouring drivers away from the portion of the road between Highway 145 and Road 200. The fallen rocks were along Rocky Cut.

“We do appreciate your patience and we’re excited to have it open in time for the weekend. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty good weekend,” said Caltrans spokeswoman Elizabeth Yelton.

A geologist was brought in to inspect the area Thursday and deemed that more extensive work needed to be done to remove another 10 to 15 yards of loose rock in the area to greater ensure the safety of drivers.

That work was completed Friday morning, said Douglas Cook, engineering geologist with Caltrans.

Caltrans originally estimated the road would be reopened by Thursday morning, but the risk of more rock slides extended the closure.

“It’s reasonably safe and (drivers) would have no problem going through that,” Cook said.

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