Major route into Yosemite National Park reopens after massive rock slide

A major highway and entrance to Yosemite National Park reopened late Saturday, nearly a week after a massive rockfall buried the road.

“We do not see any other movement at this time,” said Jamie Richards, a park spokeswoman. “Everything should be very stable.”

El Portal Road, which is a continuation of Highway 140, had been closed since June 12 when park officials said 4,000 tons of rocks slid off a cliff and damaged a 100-foot section of the roadway.

The rocks detached from a point halfway up the “Parkline Slab” cliff, struck a ledge and broke into pieces.

About a third of the material piled onto El Portal Road, covering it in 15 to 20 feet of rock. One of the boulders that fell on the highway was estimated to weigh 130 tons.

Road crews had been working all week to clear rock and debris from the roadway, Richards said.

Workers removed the marred pavement and replaced it with gravel and dirt, she said. Cones were placed along the damaged rock wall.

Geologists actively monitor the rock walls and hillsides throughout the park, Richards said

“Sometimes we can predict when and where there might be a trigger; other times we can’t,” she said.

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World