The Inyo National Forest, with assistance from the Town of Mammoth Lakes, has plowed and cleared the Reds Meadow Road beyond Minaret Vista. Engineering and the Acting District Ranger evaluated the road conditions.
The movement of some cracks in the upper 2.5 miles was noted, but overall that section of road is holding up well, especially the concrete block wall engineering installed last spring (after last year’s storm damage in this area).
However, in the valley, there are two sections of road that received considerable damage; south of Starkweather Lake and south of Sotcher Lake. In both of these locations, the sub-grade material under the road as washed away and the road has buckled.
It is likely that, during a heavy rain event, water saturated under the road and started washing out material. Subsequent freeze thaw and more rain intensified the problem causing the heaving that has created the buckled condition. It is not safe to travel over these sections of road.
The asphalt over the damaged road has hollowed areas below due to the loss of material. Engineering crews have started excavating and repairing these areas. The road will be closed to all traffic, including bicycle traffic, while this work is underway. We request your cooperation so that this important work can be completed safely and as quickly as possible.
Additionally, Engineering is also working with the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) Geotechnical Consultant who is performing drilling and mapping of the road. This is required work in anticipation with the Reds Meadow Road Reconstruction planned in the upcoming years.
Due the complexity of this work, the forest cannot estimate an opening date for the Reds Meadow Road at this time.