Yosemite will reopen road damaged by rockslide on Sunday

Frederick Owens
June 21, 2017

In this photo taken Tuesday, June 6, 2017, a section of the guard rail damaged by this year's snowpack, lies along Highway 120 near Yosemite National Park, Calif. The rockslide, which came crashing down Monday at Yosemite National Park is creating a commuting headache for hundreds of park employees and thousands of tourists who are forced to drive around the roadblock. The rocks fell about two miles east of the park line in El Portal near the Arch Rock entrance off Highway 140.

"The rockfall caused damage to the road, associated guard rail, and related infrastructure", the national park officials said in a statement.

"It took me three hours to get home", Criche said.

"This massive slab of rock slid down the cliff, hit a ledge, and broke into many pieces", he said.

There is no estimate for when the road will reopen.

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"The largest boulder on the road is about 130 tons, and there are several other boulders that are only somewhat smaller", the park said in a statement.

The park's eastern entrance is still closed as plow crews clear near-record snowfall on the road to Tioga Pass, which sits at almost 10,000 feet above sea level.

On a recent day, the eastern entrance station at 9,945-foot high Tioga Pass was buried in snow.

Yosemite National Park staff will be assessing the road and surrounding area at least until the weekend, .

Mountain passes are typically open by Memorial Day. Once workers have set off explosive charges to deal with the avalanche danger, rockslides remain a threat.

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