11/29/2006 - Mountain residents have new concerns about the ground underneath a main road in and out of Yosemite National Park. Portions of Highway 140 are crumbling, but environmental questions could make repairing the road difficult.
This stretch of El Portal Road in Yosemite National Park has been fixed five times since it was damaged by the 1997 floods. Now, park officials want to move forward with a permanent fix for this road but some environmentalist's say they still have concerns."
If you have ever visited Yosemite National Park you likely have traveled over the stretch of Highway 140 near Highway 120, but a closer look underneath the roadway reveals it's starting to crumble.
The park originally planned to reconstruct a large portion of the road. But now all projects except emergency repairs and routine maintenance are on hold. The halt comes after a judge ruled in favor of environmentalists who sued the park to stop construction until a valid Merced River plan is adopted. While environmentalists are pleased with the victory, they still have concerns about the emergency repairs.
Bridget Kerr, Sierra Club, "I do see some holes and I do see the concern. But, I also have concerns about the natural resources here and protecting them. I don't have a problem with that as long as the road isn't widened."
Park officials say the emergency repairs won't allow them to address resource damage issues that say are likely if the road isn't completely fixed natural resources could be damaged.
For now the park can only do what's necessary to keep visitor's safe.
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