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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Underground Spring Cracks Yosemite Road

Above, a lake along Yosemite's Tioga Pass Road. Tioga Pass Road
 intersects with Highway 120 near Crane Flat. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The winter has caused problems with man-made things in our national parks.

A previous blog post noted that heavy snows collapsed a porch roof in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Now we find that a big crack that opened up on Highway 120 in Yosemite National Park in February was caused by an underground spring, closing the road.

According to the Modesto Bee:
An underground seasonal spring that began flowing again after being dormant for years was the cause of a 200-foot long fissure resembling an earthquake fault that closed U.S. Highway 120 into Yosemite Valley in February. 
This portion of the road, in the park called Big Oak Flat Road, began cracking in late February. National Park Service crews patched the crack “but it did not hold and it continued to widen and spread and we began conversations with the National Highway Administration,” said Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Jamie Richards. 
Crews had to tear out 200 feet of asphalt and dig 40 feet below the surface of the original road, creating nine tiers to avoid further erosion.

To read more, go here.

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