As of June 23, sections of the Mammoth Scenic Loop Road have been closed to through traffic for reconstruction.
According to U.S. Forest Service/Inyo National Forest management, the reconstruction project will take place in two phases with the road not fully open from U.S. 395 to Hwy 203 until November of this year.
During the first phase, which began earlier this week, the Scenic Loop Road will be closed from its intersection with Hwy 203 to the Inyo Craters Road. This phase will last sometime into August.
During this phase, motorists wishing to visit the Inyo Craters will have to access the Inyo Craters Road from U.S. 395. During the second phase, starting around the end of August, the Scenic Loop Road will be closed from the Inyo Craters Road to US 395, with access to the Inyo Craters being from Highway 203.
Recreation-seekers on trails or roads that intersect the closed part of the Scenic Loop Road will not be able to go onto or cross the Scenic Loop Road. Likewise, the Forest Service said there will be no access to that general part of the forest that is accessed by the Scenic Loop Road while it is closed for the reconstruction.
During the reconstruction project, plans call for the Scenic Loop Road to be widened and slightly realigned, and 5-foot wide bike lanes will be added to each side of the road. The road will also be widened near the snow play area, which the Forest Service says will “enhance the safety and recreation experience for both residents and visitors.”
The approximately $5 million project is being funded by the Federal Highway Administration, with some funding also coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The project was recently awarded to Qualcon Construction of Minden, Nev., which has already begun survey work.