Highway 120 into the Yosemite Valley reopened Monday after being shut down since late February due to major road damage. The reopening means the end of long detours for park visitors and workers.
The 200-foot stretch of highway leading to the Big Oak Flat entrance of Yosemite National Park collapsed in February after storm damage. The road's reopening comes as spring approaches and visitors increase, says park ranger Scott Gediman. Gediman also says that the reopening will help with traffic coming into the other two park entrances.
"We're thrilled to get it open," Gediman says. "That [the closure] meant that visitors waited in long lines to get in and it was difficult operationally. We see a lot of our visitors from the San Francisco Bay Area [and] the Central Valley, so we'll see over a million and a half people that come in that entrance during the year."
Businesses along the park's entrance are also happy and are seeing more reservations and bookings now that the road is open. Megan Gerace with the Rush Creek Lodge just outside Yosemite says visitors are starting to come back.
"All of our guests are excited and rebooking their reservations to come and visit us now that the road has reopened," Gerace says.
For the next few days, however, only daytime traffic is allowed on Highway 120 inside the park to make a few more needed repairs. The affected section is located approximately 10 miles from the actual entrance to the park.