Road Delays on Highway 395, Highway 6; Plan Ahead During Busy Holiday Week Ahead

Times Staff Report

Caltrans will replace more than 50 lane miles of State Route 89 from the Alpine/Mono County line to the U.S. Highway 395 junction, and US-395 in Inyo County and in various locations in Mono County, much of it this summer, due to funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

That means road construction delays, as many drivers trying to get north and south of Mammoth, especially on U.S. Highway 395, have already found out these past few weeks.

Especially noteworthy is the route north of Mammoth to the Nevada state line, where it is not uncommon to have the trip extended by about 40 minutes due to various delays.

Plan extra room into the trip, heading south or north, to accommodate the work.

Here is a list of the projects from Caltrans, accurate as of July 3:

• Sheep Ranch Shoulders Project - On US Highway 395 near Bridgeport from Buckeye Road to 2.9 miles south of Swauger Canyon. Construction crews are widening the highway and installing slope nets. There will be daily lane closures that may delay traffic up to 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

• McNally Shoulders Project – On US Highway 6 from north of Silver Canyon Road to North of Pumice Mill Road, construction crews are widening the highway. There will be daily lane closures that may delay traffic up to 20 minutes Monday thru Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Mono SR 89 Chip Seal Pavement Project – On State Route 89, construction crews are placing a chip seal on the highway to extend the life of the pavement. This project is funded by SB1. There will be daily lane closures that may delay traffic up to 20 minutes Monday thru Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Inyo 395 Chip Seal Project - On US Highway 395 near Big Pine from the south junction of State Route 168 to Warm Springs Road, construction crews are placing a chip seal on the highway to extend the life of the pavement. This project is funded by SB1. There will be daily lane closures that should not impact traffic. Construction is Monday thru Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Work schedule is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment and/or materials, and/or construction-related issues.

SB 1 provides an ongoing funding increase of approximately $1.8 billion annually for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the state highway system. SB 1 funds will enable Caltrans to fix more than 17,000 lane miles of pavement, 500 bridges and 55,000 culverts by 2027.

“Many motorists use the highways to visit the Mammoth Lakes area and US-395 is a major California-Nevada freight route,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “The highways endure a lot of wear and tear, especially during the winter, when the snow deteriorates the roadways. This project is important to the region because crews will make repairs that will provide a safer and smoother commute for motorists.”

These highways are used daily by more than 9,400 motorists, and 1,500 truckers.

“This SB 1 funded project will preserve the pavement surface for up to 10 years, reducing cracking and potholes, which saves the taxpayers money in the long run,” said Caltrans District 9 Director Brent Green. “Preserving the road surface along US Highway 395 and State Route 89 now is essential for our residents, trucks delivering goods, and tourists who come to visit the magnificent Eastern Sierra.”

The $1.9 million project has been awarded to American Pavement Systems, Inc. of Modesto, California. Crews will focus on filling potholes, repairing, replacing, and restoring the roadways to improve traffic safety.

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