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Whitney Portal Road Construction 2016

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Whitney Portal Road Construction 2016

Postby fishmonger » Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:55 pm

when I saw this, I figured this belongs here, maybe even as a sticky for the year. It certainly affects my 2016 summer plans, as leaving a car at the Portal was one of our scenarios, but that's not going to be possible, at least not for much of the season

Inyo N.F. staff info: Note the lower parts of the road will be handled first, with the upper segment most likely during the middle of the hiking season

This is a big project, it includes all of Whitney Portal Road from the city limit at Lone Pine to the Overflow parking lot at the portal.

While the construction is in the lower sections, the delay to pass through the site will be the main issue. 30 minute delays will be standard, with longer delays for some of the specific construction steps. This will affect access to Horseshoe Meadows Road also. The contract calls for no work on weekends, however all the road projects in the last few years have been granted some exceptions to work on weekends.

There are 3 road work segments identified for the construction contract. The contractor may do them in a different order, or combine segments, or change the order of work… we will know more about the contract in February. The project may start as early as March 1.

Segment #3 is from the city limits of Lone Pine, CA. through the Alabama Hills to near the forest boundary/ Lone Pine Campground.

Segment #2 is from Lone Pine Campground to Hogback Road (the dirt parking area below the winter closure point, the bottom of the road switchbacks)

Segment #1 is from Hogback Road to the Portal.

Best guess by our engineering staff is the contractor will work on Segment #3 first, as the upper part of the road is likely to not be reliably snow free until later in the spring. Segment #3 is a big segment and has several bridges, so it may take a while. We cannot predict now with any accuracy what date the project will move into the Hogback to Portal segment.

While work is in segment 2 & 3, below the winter closure point:•Portal parking should be fairly normal with curbside parking allowed near the campground and upper portal road.
•Some long term parking may be allowed, case by case, if we can verify the trip will end well before work begins in Segment #1.
When the work moves into Segment #1:•There will be NO curbside parking at all, from Hogback Road (the winter closure point) to the driveway for the Overflow parking lot at the Portal.
•The only parking in this stage of construction will be in the campsites in Whitney Portal Campground and the actual parking lots at the Portal.
•Every turn out, dirt road, and spur road has been surveyed and identified for staging of construction materials, heavy equipment, construction crew parking, or other designated use.
•There will also be no public parking on the roads to the privately held cabins toward Meysan Lakes trail. Parking at these cabins is already assigned, and a safety lane must be maintained to all these structures for emergency. We are identifying a few parking spots in the campground for permitted Meysan Lake parking.
•If our enforcement officer reports parking is exceeding capacity we may temporarily suspend issuing walk in wilderness permits. This will include Whitney no-shows.

Timeline:

We hope to have some notice for when the work will move into the portal area, but cannot predict it at this time. On the road projects over the last two years, contracts have referred to two week notice, but that doesn't always happen. Hopefully we will be able to give you at least a weeks' notice of when the serious parking crunch will begin.



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Re: Whitney Portal Road Construction 2016

Postby ERIC » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:27 pm

Stickied. :thumbsup:
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Re: Whitney Portal Road Construction 2016

Postby fishmonger » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:55 am

More info was posted

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/inyo/ ... width=full

the PDF file linked on that page contains this information


Accessing Whitney Portal: How To Make it Work

• If you do plan to visit Whitney in the summer of 2016, please pack your patience and carefully plan your trip to avoid the construction delays and the parking problems.

• Check the construction schedule before you head up to Whitney Portal (Twitter (@mtwhitneyinfo), at the Interagency Visitor Center (760-876-6222), on the web (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/pass ... rdb5150055). There may be times when delays and parking are little impacted. There may be periods with 30 minute delays, and two 3-hour delays per day in the peak of construction.

• Please be prepared that there may not be a parking space available for you.

• Consider carpooling, being dropped off by friends, or explore local shuttle services.

• To help alleviate the problem of reduced parking, long-term parking will not be permitted. No overnight parking is available for anyone not starting and ending a hike at Whitney Portal. If you are entering or exiting the Whitney Trail via the Pacific Crest Trail, the High Sierra Trail, the JMT or other popular long-distance routes, you may not park or stage a vehicle at the trailhead.

• Long-term parking may be available in Lone Pine. Check with the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce (760) 876-4444).

• An alternative to parking and hiking from Whitney Portal is the National Recreation Trail that connects the Whitney Portal Campground and Lone Pine Campground to the trailhead. This is an additional four miles of hiking with an additional 2,400 ft. in elevation gain. Parking is allowed clear of the roadway.

• All permitted Whitney hikers will receive a day or overnight parking permit that must be displayed on their vehicle. Whitney overnight hikers with valid parking passes may park at Whitney Portal for a maximum of 3 nights, if space is available. No day-use parking will be allowed after 8:00 p.m.

• A limited number of well-signed parking spaces will be available for day-users to the Whitney Portal area who are not hiking to Mt. Whitney.

• Parked vehicles without the required permit, that overstay their limit, interfere with construction activities, or are unsafely parked will be towed.

• The Inyo National Forest will honor the efforts of people who apply via the lottery for a Whitney hike. People who want to hike Whitney in 2016 are strongly encouraged to use the lottery system for the hike (please apply via http://www.recreation.gov).

• Many people who apply via the lottery cannot make the hike for a variety of personal reasons and the forest has re-issued those permits to “walk-ins” at the visitor center the day before or the day of for interested hikers. These walk-ins may not be available in 2016.The forest intends to manage the limited parking, in part, by limiting the walk-in permits. If there is no parking, then the walk-in permits will not be issued, or a reduced number will be issued.

• People who plan to take advantage of the walk-in process need to understand this option may not be available this year, especially in the peak of the summer which will likely be when construction is underway near Whitney Portal.

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Re: Whitney Portal Road Construction 2016

Postby fishmonger » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:36 pm

the latest info posted March 4 indicates work has started just outside of Lone Pine (that's where Tuttle Creek is located)

Construction Schedule:

Mondays – Thursdays: 6:30a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Expect delays of up to 30 minutes. Flaggers and a pilot car will manage traffic through the construction zone during working hours.

Beginning March 7th the bridge just west of Tuttle Creek Road will be reduced to one-lane traffic to allow for safety improvements. During non-working hours there will be STOP signs located at both approaches that will allow traffic to proceed when clear.
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Re: Whitney Portal Road Construction 2016

Postby BigMan » Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:09 pm

• Long-term parking may be available in Lone Pine. Check with the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce (760) 876-4444).


I inquired about an 11-day park. LP CoC referred me to the golf course (Jennifer) at (760) 920-3535. They charge $30/week.

Just passing this along.

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