Friday, September 6, 2013

State Route 120 Reopens to Yosemite National Park

Crews reopened the section of SR-120 at noon, on Friday, September 6, 2013.  The state route has been closed since Monday, August 19, 2013, due to the Rim Fire.

Since the fire, Caltrans crews have been working 12-14 hour shifts removing fire damaged trees, repairing guardrail posts and replacing numerous signs.  Caltrans has replaced nearly 1,000 burned out guardrail posts, and removed over 1,800 trees (that were in imminent danger of falling on or near the road), 47 signs, over 250 reflectors/guide markers and other essential highway markings.  Caltrans crews are still working on SR-120 so please slow for the cone zone and move over for emergency and Caltrans vehicles with flashing lights.

Motorists have full access to Yosemite Valley via SR-120. However, due to continued fire activity in the area stopping along the roadway is strictly prohibited.  The public is advised to use extreme caution as firefighting activities continue in this area.

The Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite National Park is also open.  However, Cherry Lake Road, Evergreen Road, Old Yosemite Road, Harden Flat and all other secondary roads and trailheads off of SR-120 remain closed.

SR-120 (Tioga Road) remains closed from Crane Flat to White Wolf within Yosemite National Park.  Park visitors can access the Tuolumne Meadows area from SR-395 via the parks east entrance at Tioga Pass.

Forest closures remain in effect for the Stanislaus National Forest within the Rim Fire incident perimeter.  For closure information visit

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Caltrans Crews Assist in Rim Fire Efforts

Caltrans District 10 is part of the team dealing with the Rim Fire near State Route 120 in Tuolumne County. More than 40 crew members have been on the mountain since last Thursday, August 22. They’re working 12 to 14 hour shifts removing fire damaged trees, repairing guard rail posts and replacing numerous signs to safely open the roadway for motorists, tourists and businesses.

Caltrans maintenance crews teamed up to tackle this enormous undertaking. Maintenance Supervisor, Matt Connolly says they are working together to get the highway open as quickly and safely as possible.

“In a normal day we can replace 40 posts. For the Rim Fire, we have been able to replace more than 100 posts a day. So far we’ve repaired 680 guard rails, our crews are in overdrive,” says Connolly.

Amarjeet Benipal, the Acting Caltrans District 10 Director says, “Thankfully we are not in this situation often but when we are needed, Caltrans is there to help our communities.”

Lyn Serpa, wife of James Serpa, one of the crew members working to get the highway opened said, “The men and women of Caltrans leave their families to go work in dangerous situations to make our roadways safe for the public, we should all be proud. They have a job to do and we just want them to do it well and come home safe.”