The California Department of Transportation announced a new strategy for phase one of the State Route 140 Ferguson Project.
The estimated $133 million project is set to provide a direct route to enter Yosemite National Park and create a 750-foot covered structure on the road between Mariposa and El Portal on Highway 140, which was damaged in a 2006 rock slide.
Since Caltrans started the project in March, crews have removed about 63,000 tons of rock and debris.
Caltrans District 10 Project Manager Grace Magsayo said that a visual inspection of the exposed slope has caused Caltrans to reconsider the lateral design strategy for the rock shed.
“Our design team is considering a wall structure that will require us to leave the remaining of the rock to help facilitate geotechnical bores and ultimately construct the rock shed,” Magsayo said in a news release.
The project is being done in two phases. Originally, crews were to remove all loose debris by September. Phase one is ahead of schedule.
Work has not been suspended, and crews are still obtaining geotechnical data to determine the best way to build the covered structure in the second phase.
The structure is currently designed to include two 12-foot-wide lanes, two 8-foot-wide outside shoulders and a 4-foot-wide emergency walkway on the river side.
“SR 140 is an important roadway for locals and tourists, and we want to deliver this sustainable project on time,” Magsayo said in the release.
Motorists are currently constrained by one-way traffic control, using a temporary bypass route.
Construction of the rock shed is anticipated to begin in 2016. The two lanes on the original alignment will be reopened once the project is complete.