Hard Road Ahead
Mammoth, “Stakeholders,” push to rehab Reds Meadow Road
Representatives from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), along with employees of the engineering firm CH2M, held two workshops on Monday, March 20 in conjunction with the Town of Mammoth Lakes to discuss the possible Reds Meadow Road rehabilitation project. The Town, after receiving direction from Mammoth Town Council, has decided to pursue a Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) grant to fund rehabilitation of the badly-deteriorated 8.3 mile road.
Wendy Longley, Project Administrator for the FHWA, focused on four alternatives for rehabilitation of the road. Longley cited poor drainage, uncompacted fill slopes, and settlement over time as reasons for the road’s current state, as well as the fact that the road was “paved on native surface, so we don’t have a real engineered structure there. With no adequate base… we’re seeing a lot of pavement degradation and rutting as well.”
Longley stressed that there would be no change of management to the National Monument or the lands themselves. There would also be no increased parking in the oft-overcrowded valley floor, Longley said.
If the Town of Mammoth Lakes is successful in obtaining the FLAP grant, it is possible it could take over the cost of maintenance for the road in the future as a “highway deed,” Engineering Manager Haislip Hayes said on Wednesday, March 22. It is also possible that a “cooperative agreement” could be reached, meaning “we [the Town] have the authority to do things, but the underlying land owner [the U.S. Forest Service] is still responsible” for upkeep.