By Angela Evans
Frustrated by all the road closures around Mono County? So is Chris Lizza, member of the Mono Basin Regional Planning Advisory Committee (RPAC). “We missed a great holiday opportunity with the closures of 120 East and West and the June Lake Loop at the North Junction,” he said in the RPAC meeting Wednesday night in Lee Vining. He referenced the dry winter two years ago — Tioga pass was open into January and he was able to ice skate on Lake Tenaya Christmas Day with his family. There are both recreational and economic benefits for local businesses and residents by opening these roads during dry seasons.
The responsibility lies with CalTrans, but there doesn’t seem to be any procedures or written policies explaining their decisions to keep the roads closed. Current highways with at least some closures are State Routes 120, 108, 89 and 168.
Lizza was encouraged to hear SR 158 (June Lake Loop) reopened this past weekend and that the rest area at Crestview has remained open. “It shows there is some flexibility within CalTrans.” He’s still baffled that Tioga pass is closed with no indication of reopening. Supervisor Tim Alpers advised Lizza to go through the proper channels, like the Mono County Local Transportation Commission (LTC), in order to talk to Caltrans. “They worked hard to separate from the rest of the California government. If you make them mad, you’ll make it worse.”
“How can it get worse if we have dry pavement and closed roads?” was the reply.
The Mono County Local Transportation Commission (LTC) is meeting Monday January 13 at 9 a.m. in the Town/County Conference Room, in the Minaret Village Mall on Old Mammoth Road. Lizza encourages everyone concerned about the current road closures to attend.