Ferretti Road, a major collector in the Groveland area, is expected to remain closed until repairs can be completed in early December.
A portion of road just south of Tioga High School was rendered impassable to vehicles after being severely damaged in the March 22 megastorm that flooded Groveland.
The status of emergency federal funding for damages from the storm remains in limbo as Gov. Jerry Brown determines whether the total damages throughout the state meet the $52 million minimum for federal disaster assistance.
Tuolumne County officials said storm events over the past two years have caused more than $15 million in damage to local roads.
Many roads damaged by the 2017 storms remain closed because a majority of the projects to repair them have yet to be authorized for funding by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The county would be required to pay for 25 percent of the cost of the damages incurred by the 2018 storms if the state does not meet the threshold for federal assistance, but Ferretti Road is eligible for funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program as a major collector.
Community Resources Agency staff have submitted an application for the funding and are waiting for approval.
If the funds are approved, which County Administrator Craig Pedro said he believes they will be, then planning and engineering work would begin later this month and continue through July.
“Ferretti is one of the most major roads we’ve had cut off from a storm,” Pedro said.
The bidding process for project would begin in July and construction would tentatively begin September for an early December completion, weather permitting.
County staff asked the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to allow Community Resources Agency Director David Gonzalves to adopt plans and specifications, which they said would avoid a potential 30-day delay. The board unanimously approved the request.
The board also did the same for a project to repair Marshes Flat Road near Moccasin that was damaged in the 2017 storms.
Though FEMA recently approved funding for the repairs, the project isn’t expected to be completed until sometime between May and September of next year. Pedro said the road presents engineering challenges due to steep terrain.
District 2 Supervisor Randy Hanvelt suggested working with Tuolumne-Calaveras Cal Fire Unit Chief Josh White on a temporary fix for fire access to the area.
“In terms of access in and out of there, it’s not good,” he said. “That’s a high fire risk area, I’m a little worried about letting those people hang out.”
Contact Alex MacLean at email@example.com or (209) 588-4530.
Editor's note: This story has been updated. Tioga High School was misidentified in an earlier version.