Main Yosemite highway work set

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat /

A large construction project scheduled to begin next year on the Tuolumne River bridge on Highway 49/120 could be a traffic nightmare, and local leaders are already working to minimize the impact.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday discussed a proposal to replace the deck of the James E. Roberts Memorial Bridge that crosses Don Pedro Reservoir near Mocassin.

Caltrans says that the months-long project will require the bridge to close and traffic to be re-routed during work hours.

That would spell trouble for tourists and residents alike, as the bridge is a primary route to Yosemite National Park as well as much of the south county.

During the closure, Caltrans plans to re-route drivers along two separate and lengthy detours. The Board ofSupervisors on Tuesday backed a request that workers keep the closures to overnight hours and implement a seven-day work week to hasten the project's completion.

"This is going to have a (large) impact on the people of that 120 corridor," said Supervisor John Gray, who represents the south county.

Caltrans' construction schedule predicts the closures would take place between December 2015 and February 2016, with work most likely taking place during the overnight hours.

For the full story, see the June 18, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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