Tioga Road Rehabilitation Plan

Crumbling asphalt caused by steep grades and off-road parking have caused Tioga Road's shoulders to narrow over the last 40 years.
 

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Overview

This environmental assessment focused on rehabilitating approximately 40 miles of the Tioga Road. The primary goal of this project was to make safety improvements, while preserving the natural and cultural resources along the road corridor. This road is a primary east-west scenic route across the Sierra Nevada with high traffic volume during the peak summer and fall seasons, providing access to Tuolumne Meadows, Tioga Pass, U.S. Route 395 and numerous popular trailheads including: John Muir, Pacific Crest, Yosemite Creek, Lukens Lake, and others beginning in Tuolumne Meadows. This segment of the Tioga Road had not been fully repaved in over 40 years and had significantly deteriorated due to poor drainage and subsurface erosion. Visitor safety would be improved by resurfacing, replacing failing culverts, making minor grade adjustments to steep cross slopes, and cleaning and restoring shoulders to their original width. The project also considered methods to improve driving visibility along the roadway.

Public scoping for this project occurred in winter 2010 and those comments were analyzed. In June 2010 an internal field review was conducted and it was determined that an additional section of roadway should be rehabilitated within this project. This section is located east of Olmsted Point and extends to the east end of Tuolumne Meadows. This additional section is located through the Tuolumne Meadows corridor and will solely address the resurfacing and repaving of the current road, and will not alter or affect roadside parking. Decisions made through the Tuolumne River Plan and will determine what specific actions will be taken throughout the Tuolumne Meadows area.

An environmental assessment was released in August 2011 that presented the environmental impacts of leaving Tioga Road in its current condition (No Action Alternative) and of rehabilitating 41 miles of the Tioga Road to make safety improvements (Action Alternative). A Finding of No Significant Impact, documenting the Selected Action, was signed in October 2012. The Selected Action will implement the rehabilitation, restoration, and resurfacing of approximately 41 miles of the Tioga Road while protecting natural and cultural resource values.

The Selected Action will:

  • Improve the safety of visitors and employees traveling on Tioga Road.
  • Maintain the character of the road corridor, including significant cultural landscape characteristics such as the curvilinear alignment, grade, and road features including culverts, retaining walls, and turnouts.
  • Restore drainage features to control erosion and to protect natural and cultural resources.
  • Increase accessibility for park visitors and reduce confusion regarding designated roadside turnouts.
  • Manage roadside parking and traffic flow through improved turnouts.
  • Reduce rockfall potential along Tioga Road by scaling rock at select locations.
  • Manage and improve the Tuolumne Grove parking area.
 

Last updated: February 10, 2020

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