County's new road: Elsey Court



Recently, Tuolumne County Public Works staff members were faced with a problem they hadn't had in years: They had a road without a name.

It used to be called Phoenix Lake Road and carried many people from their East Sonora homes to Mono Way.

But, to make way for the East Sonora Bypass, part of Phoenix Lake Road was demolished and a cul-de-sac put in its place.

There isn't any real protocol for naming a county road, said Peter Rei, public works director, because the need for it is hardly ever necessary.

"We could have just gone ahead and named it," Rei said, but he and his staff decided to let the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors choose.

Even they had a hard time with it, Rei said.

Chairman Mark Thornton suggested calling the cul-de-sac Rotelli Court.

"Because it's a dead-end road," he said.

But Supervisor Larry Rotelli took the choice more seriously.

Of the 17 suggestions prepared for the board to choose from, Rotelli picked Elsey Court. The board supported his choice.

The Elsey family once owned property near the new cul-de-sac. Rotelli said he fondly remembers playing in a swimming hole there as a child.

That swimming hole also was frequented by a younger Cy Hoblitt, a lifetime county resident and deputy director of Tuolumne County Public Works. The swimming hole was one reason Hoblitt put the name Elsey Court on the list.

Other names on the list included Bypass Court, Junction Court, Burger King Court, Crystal Court and Burke Court, after a mining family from the area.

Now that a name has been chosen, the next step will be for Rei to bring a resolution to the board to make the road's name official.

"We'll tell that to Caltrans, and they'll put up the correct signage." Rei said.

Rei said most roads created within the county now are parts of subdivisions, and are named by their developers. Those road names aren't given much thought by the public works department, Rei said.

The Union Democrat
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