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With the Goldrushcam.com
Daily news and photos of Mariposa, Oakhurst, Sonora,
 & Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.A

Updated  2-10-2008
Some links may now be dead
but you may find cached pages on the net.

For A Virtual Reality Movie Of The Slide
  Ferguson Rock Slide
Exclusively On The Sierra Sun Times

 Ferguson Rockslide Photos


A Special Edition Of  The Sierra Sun Times

The Ferguson Rockslide Timeline



Sheriff Jim Allen talking about a reverse 911 system for the Merced River area. On Friday June 2, 2006
 

MAY, 2006
First report: Monday May 1
FresnoBee.com -  Rock slide near El Portal closes Highway 140

 
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 9:06 am  

Highway 140 East of Briceburg still closed as of this post due to a massive rock slide. Yosemite is still accessible through Highway 120 from Groveland or Highway 41 from Oakhurst.



 

Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 10:15 am:     

Just maybe the slide on the 140 will be cleared enough for one way traffic starting on Tuesday !!
The slide was a massive one starting at the top of a ridge about 30 feet deep and taking tons of rocks and dirt to the bottom. Caltrans has been busy trying to figure out the stablity of the mountain side !
Stay tuned as the Goldrushcam will let you know as soon as it is open !

 

Posted on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - 7:02 am:     

Alert:
Possibly the 140 will be open for travel on Wednesday.
I found a photo of the slide on the net from Chris Falkenstein a photographer and a resident of Yosemite since 1972 !!
Chris rode his bicycle on the old train roadbed down the river to get this shot.
After looking at the slide photo click on the link to his photo site. He takes very, very good
photo's !!

Here is the link to the slide photos:
viewsingleimage.html-mode=singleimage&handle=yosemiteclimber&num ber=43&album_id=21&thumbstart=0&gallery=#slideanchor


 

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 9:25 am:     



The 140 is open !! Only one way traffic for right now !!

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 3:00 pm:     

Looks like the 140 is still closed according to the DMV highway site and the phone number !!
It was supposed to be open this morning and in fact the DMV web site said controlled traffic.
They must be having safety problems with that hillside !!
 

Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:28 am:     



The 140 is closed again until maybe tomorrow !


 

Posted on Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 7:41 am:     




The 140 into Yosemite is still closed, but we have so much else to do !!


 

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 8:49 am:     


Highway 140 still closed and now Cal Trans says at least till May 24th as the mountain side is very unstable !!
 

Posted on Friday, May 19, 2006 - 11:05 am:     



Mariposa might declare a state of emergency for the 140 being shut down so long. Now the state is saying May 29th !!

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 - 4:35 pm:     

Spent four hours listening to the Mariposa Board of Supervisors Meeting today.
Look for an update in the morning hours as my notes have to be put in order.


Channel 3 was in Mariposa today doing a report on the slide and the effect on the local economy.
If you get channel 3 look for it tonight or tomorrow.


 

Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 8:37 am:     

Attention:

Cal Trans worked a miracle !!
The 140 is OPEN. With slight delays.
Time enough to get out of the car and take photos of the Merced River Canyon !!

A big thank you goes out to the Cal Trans Crew and Mariposa County Workers.
 

Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 7:53 am:     


The 140 apparently is closed again as of 7:30 this morning both the website and the phone recording announce the road is closed.
It was supposed to be open yesterday, maybe they determined the ground is still unstable.

Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2006 - 10:19 am:     

Once again Cal Trans says the slide on the 140 is too unstable to let traffic by as the mountain continues to move.

 

Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 1:33 pm:     

There will be a special meeting tonight in El Portal to discuss the impact the road closure is having on the citizens and visitors to El Portal.

5-30-06 
There will be a meeting this evening at 6:00 P.M. in the El Portal Community Hall to discuss issues facing El Portal residents due to the closure of Hwy. 140. Representatives from the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, Cal Trans,  Fire Dept., County Board of Supervisors, National Park Service, and others will be there to discuss the status of the road, emergency medical services, community issues, etc. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

 

JUNE,2006
 

Posted on Thursday, June 01, 2006 - 5:55 pm:     

Could the 140 be closed for six months or more?
Will CalTrans have to build a bridge around the slide zone ?

That is what we are hearing, but before it gets into the Sierra Sun Times we will attend the special Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow to hear official info on what CalTrans is planning.
Look for a late entry tomorrow for an update on the slide.
Remember you will hear about this meeting here before anywhere else !

6-02-06
7:30 PM Update:

Mariposa (CAO) Mike Coffield sent us an e-mail with the following information:
Additional info came in about PG&E  having additional generators brought into Indian Flat for use in points East.
El Portal,  Foresta, Yosemite West etc.. These generators could be of use if one of the power poles started to slide and power had to be cut off and also when they reroute the power.
 The road timeline is hoping to be cleared up by next week with CalTrans as more information is obtained and if nature will cooperate.


Updated information on the slide from 6-02-06 Board of Supervisors meeting:

The supervisor chambers was packed to overflowing as reps from different public agencies, government reps, business owners and  private citizens were in attendance.
We were told the slide has a total volume of 2.5 - 3 million yards of rock and soil.
County counsel said the governor of California is preparing the documents to declare a state of emergency and then for a presidential declaration for funding money. Counsel also gave a rundown on the financial impact this
 closure is having on the county.
A CalTrans rep. said they are looking for a temporary way to get to the other side of the river and then back over to the 140.
They are entertaining two scenarios, (1) If the whole slide comes down across the river (2) that the slide just keeps shifting down the hill. She mentioned a type of portable bridge but said the canyon was too steep for that type, but their is another type that may be possible.
As of right now they are flying a noted geologist in from Canada to help assist with the situation and that person will be on location later today.
Currently CalTrans is not doing any night monitoring of the slide but the county is keeping fire crews out there at night in case of an emergency situation.
The hill is currently moving nine inches a day displacing 18,000 - 25,000  cubic yards a day.

A spokesman from Mariposa County said blasting the hill away would require a tremendous amount of dynamite and then a fleet of trucks to haul it away.

Jim Allen, Sheriff of Mariposa County said there is a plan in place to warn upstream and downstream residents in case of an emergency situation. It consists of reverse 911 and deputies going house to house to warn people.
  Stand by generators would be a good idea for private residences to have just in case the slide crosses the river. Or the PG&E tower comes down.

PG&E is ready to install a permanent line across the water and then back over to the  main line bypassing a pole or two that could fall over as the slide keeps moving. They are ready to dig holes in the morning and then early next week shut power off for residents east of the slide for 8-12 hours, maybe less, as they rewire the line.

After this public meeting their was a private meeting at 1:30 and we are awaiting news from our supervisors as an e-mail was sent to each one of them to give us a possible update on any changes or additions that took place in that meeting .

We will  update as we hear of any changes.


 

Posted on Saturday, June 03, 2006 - 7:03 am:     

The Mariposa Board of Supervisors meeting room was full yesterday as the town was updated with information on the slide.

Here is a photo of Mariposa Sheriff Jim Allen addressing the supervisors about implementing a reverse 911 if an emergency should occur along the Merced River.

Posted on Monday, June 05, 2006 - 7:09 am:     


The Mariposa County Sheriff is now warning people to not get near the slide on either side of the river as the area is becoming very dangerous to be around !

 

6-06-06

Updated Slide info as of 9:05 PM

The slide now has a name: The Ferguson Rockslide named after the ridge above it.
The Forest Service has taken over monitoring of the site releasing Mariposa County Fire crews of this duty.

Before a plan to clean up the slide or build anything around it, the officials are waiting on what the mountain wants to do: either keep sliding slowly. stabilize or come down all at once. If it should come down fast, officials believe there would be time to alert and evacuate everyone upstream and downstream of the slide.

PG&E officials said the hookup of the first part of the new power line resulted in an outage of about 15 minutes or less and the second part should have been done earlier today.

The forest service has implemented a command team by the name of :
South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team.
It is comprised of 12 agencies as a team unit with communication between them.



Updated slide info as of 11:30 AM:

The geologist CalTrans flew in offered no new  information is his verbal report but CalTrans is awaiting his written report.

PG&E is in the process of moving the power lines and should finish
up today.

The Governor of California declared a State Of Emergency yesterday but  did not request a Presidential Declaration until more cost figures come in on repairing the slide damage.

 Finally, the US Forest Service took command yesterday as the lead agency over the slide



6-08-06
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
Current Situation:
The Ferguson Rockslide Incident is located on the Sierra National Forest in the Merced River Canyon. Observers are monitoring the slide mass 24 hours a day and communications are in place to report catastrophic movement. Currently all agencies involved are working together using their respective expertise to identify any and all hazards from the rockslide that completely blocked Highway 140 at Ferguson Ridge. The communities of Mariposa and El Portal are open for business as well as Yosemite National Park. Alternate routes of travel and many recreational opportunities remain available in the National Park.

Roads Closures and Special Orders:
On June 5th, the Sierra National Forest, Bass Lake Ranger District, issued an emergency area closure along the Merced River. This order will remain in effect until the current rockslide hazard is declared secure. The closure begins along the Merced River known as the South Fork confluence to Ned’s Gulch. No rafting or recreating of any kind is allowed near or past this enormous slide that is unpredictable. Please do not attempt to enter this extremely hazardous area. Highway 140 to El Portal is closed with law enforcement personnel present.
An Incident Information office
has been opened next door to the Mariposa Visitor Center. Our new numbers are 209-966-6174 and 966-6167. We are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For a map of the slide area:
Map



 

Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 8:20 am:     

All info related to the slide would be greatly appreciated. Just post it here or e-mail it to us at
mailto:general@goldrushcam.com

We are trying to track down the 'officials ' who the news reporters quoted as saying the 140 will be closed for at least a year. If you know who said that please e-mail that info to us.

6-09-06       12:00 PM
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
Rock fall is being reported throughout the day. We urge residents and the public to honor the closures and roadblocks as major safety issues and hazards have been identified. No mandatory evacuations are in place. Evacuation response planning efforts with Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department and all agencies are in progress. Electrical power to the National Park and El Portal is stable and PG&E has completed transfer of power lines and generators. Caltrans is currently working towards many options for access to highway.
State Highway is 140 closed for an extended period of time due to major safety concerns.


 

6-09-06           6:20 PM
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
Forest closure around slide area restricts all public access within 1/4 mile of either side of the Merced River between the confluences of Ned's Gulch and the South Fork of the Merced River. Caltrans road closure extends beyond the Forest Closure order. Evaluation of the slide continues with US Army Corps of Engineers developing modeling scenarios around full stream blockage to determine potential impacts. Access to the site continues to be closed by Forest Order, as well as river rafting, for public safety.  

Planned Actions Corps of Engineers, Park Service and Forest Service Geologists are scheduled to visit the site tomorrow to further evaluate the situation. 



6-10-06          3:55 PM
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
National Park Service and Forest Service geologists visited the site on the ground to further evaluate the situation today. Evaluation of slide continues by the US Army Corps of Engineers developing modeling scenarios around full stream blockage to determine potential impacts.
Coordination occurred today to initiate development of a long term response plan for a river blockage event. 
Begin development of the long-term response plan. USGS specialists are due to arrive Monday, June 11th, and will evaluate a debris dam breach scenario with the US Army Corps of Engineers and Forest Service geologists during the course of the week. 


6-12-06        1:00 PM
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
Large rocks and debris continue to fall throughout the day, tossing many large boulders into the river. A team of geologists from USGS, USFS, NPS, Army Corps of Engineers and Caltrans will be at the site this week, researching and monitoring on the ground and by aerial reconnaissance to gain additional information on the movement of the rockslide.



Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago        6-20-06 AM
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
Saturday, large rocks and debris continued falling throughout the day, tossing many large boulders into the river. Please stay out of the area. A meeting with the County Board of Supervisors is being planned for Tuesday June 13th in the morning at 9 a.m.. Community meetings are also being scheduled early this week for Midpines and El Portal.




Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 6:50 am:   
 

Just look at the size of some of those boulders that are ready to fall in the above photo !
Look at what is getting ready to fall from above !
Mother Nature showing what she can do !

The 'officials' say this is part of a slide that began hundreds of thousands of years ago and now decided to start moving again.
More officials are on site today evaluating the situation.
Seems like they are contemplating a complete river blockage !

Why we cannot get new photos posted on line is beyond us !
With all the government 'officials ' there someone has to be taking photos.
If you know of someone with current photos have them send them to us in an e-mail.
 

Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 5:01 pm:     

CalTrans live Video.....New Photo's Taken June 5 and June 11, 2006
Go to :
http://www.mariposacounty.org/sheriff/
http://www.mariposacounty.org/sheriff/Rock%20Slide%20May%2029%202006.htm
There appeared to be dust plumes shooting out of the fracture, well behind the upper headwall of the slide. The mass has slipped MANY meters from the main hillside.
* Although the slide is made up mostly of dry rocks, fractured granite and dirt, geologists believe it is being caused by water pressure deep inside the mountain.
* If the entire fracture zone comes down, it would go all the way across the canyon and dam up against the other side.

New projections are for a Dam 100 feet tall, when the hill side comes down.
"The command team -- which includes representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, Caltrans, Mariposa County, the Bureau of Land Management, the Mariposa County Fire Department and the National Park Service -- has abandoned any attempts to control the rockslide, which could dump into the Merced River enough dirt and rock to fill 30 million dump trucks.
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/local/story/12312346p-13045912c.html
***********************
Rock slide cuts community off from Yosemite
By Nick Martin, USA TODAY
JUNE 11th, 2006
Excerpt from : http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-06-11-yosemite-rock-slide_x.htm?csp=34
"If the slide gets bigger, it could dam up the river and flood......upstream — a situation Allen Johnson, the incident commander, said would be "catastrophic."

If enough pressure builds on the newly formed dam, "more than likely there's going to be some kind of burst," Johnson said.
**********************************
MERCED RIVER HAZARD WARNING !
And later, if the Rock Slide Dam bursts, the rush of water and mud could wipe out the bridge at Briceburg and ....there are three BLM campgrounds along the Merced River between Briceburg and Bagby. They are the McCabe Flat Campground, Willow Placer Campground and the Railroad Flat Campground. The campgrounds are accessible only by crossing the bridge at Briceburg and heading down river on the road (old Yosemite Valley Railroad grade).
*********************************

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 8:04 am:     

On the Mariposa Sheriff Site there is a link to Cal Trans Video of the slide.
It does not work for us !
How about you ?

http://www.mariposacounty.org/sheriff/Rock%20Slide%20May%2029%202006.htm

Look later for what took place at the Mariposa Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday.

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 11:03 am:     

Okay, now the live video is working by opening up windows media player, copying and pasting the URL into where it says file and enter URL.
That is the work around we had to use to get the file to play !

Here is the link:
http://svhqmsmedia1.dot.ca.gov/oasis4


 

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 2:02 pm:     

Cedar Lodge...in Danger ?

Cedar Lodge :
http://www.yosemitemotels.com/cedarlodge/index.htm

****************************

Geologists examine slide : June 13, 2006

Excerpt from : http://www.modbee.com/local/story/12312519p-13046150c.html

....geologists spent the past week trying to determine what would happen if the river, which runs along the highway, were blocked by walls of rock that were either 50, 100 or 350 feet high.

The geologists determined the 350-foot scenario wasn't possible, but if a 100-foot rock wall became a reality, the water would create a reservoir that would extend upstream as far as Cedar Lodge. DeGraff also said the nearby community of Savage Trading Post would be most affected.

**************************************

According to estimates created by the Army Corps of Engineers, a rock Dam over 50-feet would eventually back up the Merced River enough to Flood CEDAR LODGE.

Satellite Photo :
http://www.terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=14&Z=11&X=77&Y=1303&W=1&qs=%7cMariposa%7cCA%7c
Topo
http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=14&Z=11&X=78&Y=1304&W=2&qs=%7cel+portal%7cca%7c



 

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 11:44 pm:     

A 100 foot Rock Slide dam = 4,000 acre feet of water backed up.
* How Much is an Acre Foot of Water?
1.0 acre foot = 325,851 gallons
4,000 acre feet = over 1,300,000,000 gallons
[that is over a Billion gallons of water]
*(a thousand millions = a Billion)
********************
CALTRANS may risk it ?
CALTRANS has plans in place for a scenario for
a bridge to cross the river and then back to the 140.
* They could have a bridges in place within 90 days.

Note : If the Rock Slide comes down across the river,
only a few people will die (who happen to be driving
there at the time) and at least
the road would be open until that happens.

Everybody seemed happy.
:-) ?


Hi Anon,
No, CalTrans said they would not risk anything if there was doubt about the slide moving.
And that is there best rate time frame!

And about the 100 foot dam.
The water would reach the top of the slide in the water and then go over the top of that and then would start scouring away the dirt thus reducing the height of the dam. If this happens later and later into the summer the time to fill the dam would take longer as the inflow into the Merced slows down. Right now they figure the residents would have an hour or more to leave because of the higher flows.

And for clarification the 4,000 acre feet was a scenario for a total blockage without seepage and then totally breaking down at once thus filling the river bed with all that water. They said Bagby and below would not be affected by that amount of water moving downstream at once.
The BLM has complete control over the campgrounds by Briceburg as when they want to close them.


 

6-14-06        10:35 PM
Quick info on the Yosemite Bug slide meeting;
About 85 residents showed up, the restaurant was packed like sardines. 7:00 - 9:30 PM.
The USGS gave a report on scenarios of a rock slide dam with water flow facts. Main Facts: worst case - 100 foot dam and the water would overflow, 4,000 acre feet  backed up would not affect Lake McClure.
The Geologist said the middle part of the slide appears to not be moving. But needs precise instruments for monitoring. Could Stop Moving this summer. But winter rains or an earthquake could bring the slide down. He said "A lot of guessing" is being done. As they compare this slide to other slides.
The sheriff dept said it is concerned with El Portal citizens in the winter months for emergency services.
A spokesperson for Yosemite National Park  said  the park is doing everything it can for it's workers who are located outside of the park. From providing housing in  the park to people working in Mariposa.
CALtrans: plans are in place for a scenario for a bridge to cross the river and then back to the 140. If Slide stops moving a best case would be to have a bridge in place within 90 days.
More info tomorrow.
 


6-14-06
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
Community meetings will be held Wednesday, June 14, 2006 at the Yosemite Bug Hostel in Midpines, CA, at 7 p.m. and on Thursday, June 15, 2006 at the El Portal Community Hall, in El Portal, CA at 6 p.m.
A Spanish language interpreter will be present at the El Portal meeting. Agency representatives, geologists and other resource specialists will be available to answer questions and address community concerns

USGS specialists are scheduled to evaluate the slide area from the air on Tuesday, June 13, and will develop a debris dam breach scenario with the US Army Corps of Engineers and Forest Service Geologists during the remainder of the week. 

Additionally, all Mariposa, Midpines, El Portal and Yosemite National Park visitor and information centers, businesses, and accommodations are open for business. Commercial rafting companies remain open and continue to offer rafting trips seven days a week.

The rockslide can be seen via satellite link. The web address is: http://msmedia.dot.ca.gov/oasis4.

The slide remains active throughout the day, although the last 24 hours have shown a decrease in large boulder activity. A team of geologists from USGS, USFS, NPS, Army Corps of Engineers, and Caltrans are on site, researching and monitoring both from the ground and using aerial reconnaissance to gain additional information on the movement of the rockslide. Preliminary geology reports should be out by the end of the week.

 

Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 8:14 am:     

Anon,
No, No one was happy as this meeting.
Including business owners, residents, park workers
and others


6-15-06         12:15 PM
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
Specialists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) are on site, researching and monitoring the rockslide from the ground and by air. Preliminary findings show that the slide is not currently moving significantly, but large-scale movement may occur at any time. Initial recommendations to the Incident Management Team are for continued, accurate monitoring because of concerns for public safety in the canyon. These geologists will continue to advise the Incident Management Team on possible long-term scenarios.


  10:45 AM
Meeting tonight in El Portal:
The meeting in El Portal will be at the El Portal Community Center on Thursday night, June 15, 2006 at 6:00 p.m.


Inciweb.org has maps up showing: 
Map Modeling Potential 100-foot Dam Scenario and 50 foot scenario
Links:
InciWeb: Map Modeling Potential 100-foot Dam Scenario


InciWeb: Map Modeling Potential 50-foot Dam Scenario

Also:
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
USGS Specialists, continuing to assess potential for catastrophic rockslide. ACOE geologist is working on dam breach scenarios and reported that if a rockslide dam (50 foot or 100 foot) were to form and breach, the impact to Lake McClure would be negligible. Forest closure around the slide area restricts all public access, including river rafting, within ¼ mile of either side of the Merced River between the confluences of Ned Gulch and the South Fork of the Merced River. Caltrans road closure extends beyond the Forest Closure order.  
Interagency geologist review of the long-term response and communication plans continues. USGS specialists are assisting in the development of a debris dam breach scenario with the ACOE and FS geologists during the remainder of the week. 

 

Posted on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 8:13 am:     

Another Ferguson Slide meeting was held in El Portal yesterday.
KMPH was there with video cameras, here is their report:
http://www.kmph.com/home/3062636.html

Really no new info from the meeting at Midpines the day before it seems !



6-17-06
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754
Specialists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) were on site this week, researching and monitoring the rockslide from the ground and by air. Preliminary findings show that the slide is not currently moving significantly, but large-scale movement may occur at any time. Initial recommendations to the Incident Management Team are for continued, accurate monitoring because of concerns for public safety in the canyon. These geologists will continue to advise the Incident Management Team on possible long-term scenarios. A full report is due next week.



 

6-18-06      12:35 PM
Slide Update from
  Debbie Santiago (209) 966-6174

Pam Bierce new
Information officer  
209-966-6174 or 209-966-6167
Allen Johnson’s team is completing their assignment and will return to their respective agencies tomorrow, Monday June 18th. The team thanks the communities and cooperating agencies for their strong support during this incident. The Sierra National Forest will resume command of the incident Monday morning and continued partnership with all the cooperating agencies. Denise Tolmie will be the new Incident Commander assigned.

Geological findings show that the rockslide is actively throwing large rocks. A large-scale movement may occur at any time. Initial recommendations of the Incident Management Team are for continued, accurate monitoring because of concerns for public safety in the canyon. Geologists will continue to advise the Incident Management Team on possible long-term scenarios. A full report is due this week.

Finalize Interagency long-term response and communication plans. FS geologist compiling reports from other agency geologists into a final geological overview and recommendation report. 

6-18-06       7:20 AM
Slide Update from
Debbie Santiago
Information Officer (661) 332-1754

Allen Johnson’s team is completing their mission assignment and will return to their respective agencies. The Sierra National Forest will resume responsibility for the incident Monday with continued involvement by the cooperating agencies. Incident information will be disseminated from the information center currently established and with the phone numbers cited below.tion Officer (661) 332-1754

Additionally, all Mariposa, Midpines, El Portal and Yosemite National Park visitor and information centers, businesses, and accommodations are open for business. Commercial rafting companies remain open and continue to offer rafting trips seven days a week. The rockslide can be seen live via satellite link. The web address is: http://msmedia.dot.ca.gov/oasis4

 

6-23-06
From Caltrans:
(Mariposa County)  The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has authorized Teichert Construction to begin building two temporary bridges around the Ferguson Rock Slide on State Route 140 in Mariposa County. 

 Teichert has been given notice to proceed today and will begin to mobilize equipment and bridge parts into the canyon.  However, no actual work in the river can begin until concurrence from the resource agencies is received.  “The Department has full confidence that all resource agencies will be providing their full cooperation” says Kome Ajise, District 10 Director.
This project will require additional logistics to complete. "The situation is dynamic and requires much coordination" says Ajise.
Cost estimates and completion dates are currently under development.  Caltrans is committed to providing information on the project cost and schedule as the information becomes available.


6-24-06

Slide information:
Pam Bierce is the Incident Information Officer.
209-966-6174

Current Situation: The Ferguson Rockslide Incident is located on the Sierra National Forest in the Merced River Canyon. Field observers remain monitoring the slide mass 24 hours a day and emergency response communications are in place to report any catastrophic movement or river inundation.

Geological findings show that the rockslide continues to be active. A large-scale movement could occur at any time. Per recommendations of the Incident Management Team, accurate monitoring will continue because of concerns for public safety in the canyon. Geologists will continue to advise the Sierra National Forest on possible long-term scenarios

A Caltrans team of specialists are working on a safe temporary solution to opening Highway 140. At this time focus is on the logistics of a two bridge crossing that would cross the river on either side of the slide. However, this has not been presented as the final solution. Caltrans hopes to have a solution in place within 60 days.

6-26-06

Cal Trans will be hosting a public meeting today at the El Portal Community Center.
Place: El Portal Community Center
Date: Monday, June 26, 2006
Time: 6:00pm
For more information contact the Ferguson Rockslide Information Center at: (209) 966-6174

New Slide Information Officer:
Glenn Bell
is the new information officer for the Ferguson Slide.
Same phone number 
(209) 966-6174


6-27-06

Update: 6:55 PM
Caltrans is getting ready a temporary one way bridge to cross the Merced River
and then fixing the old railroad grade on that side of the river for about six miles to the Foresta Bridge and then back over to the 140. No tour busses or other vehicles that will be over a certain size ( Still being discussed) will be allowed. The long school busses also will not be on this route but the small ones might be.
Opening date if all turns out as expected, meaning permits are signed on time, the report from the geologist is positive, will be about July 15th. The road will be closed at night to traffic.
While that bridge is operating Caltrans will be constructing another bridge closer to the slide so there will only be about a half a mile of driving on the other side of the river before coming back over the river to get back on the 140.
More later !

 



6-29-06
Ferguson Rockslide Update:
Information provided by:
Glenn Bell
Ferguson Rockslide Information Officer
Phone 209-966-6174
Fax     209-966-6176

Current Situation:  The Ferguson Rockslide Incident, located on the Sierra National Forest in the Merced River Canyon, still remains active.  Smaller size rocks continue to fall on a periodic basis.  Field observers continue monitoring the slide mass 24 hours a day and emergency response communications are in place to report any catastrophic movement or river inundation.  The geology report and the multi-agency response plan are being finalized and will be available on the incident website (http://inciweb.org) by the end of the week.
Caltrans has been working on a temporary solution, which is a series of Temporary-Emergency bridges, around the slide area.  Residents of El Portal were briefed at a public meeting on Monday evening, June 26th.  At that time, Caltrans explained the procedure they were going to use.  Permanent solutions are also being explored by Caltrans. 
Meanwhile, Mariposa, Midpines, El Portal, and Yosemite National Park visitor and information centers, businesses, and accommodations are ALL OPEN FOR BUSINESS.  Commercial rafting companies remain open and continue to offer rafting trips seven days a week.




JULY,2006

7-01-06
The Ferguson Rock Slide geology report and multi-agency response plan are now available online.
Ferguson Rock Slide Geology Report
U.S. Geological Survey Findings
Ferguson Rock Slide Multi-Agency Response Plan

Teichert Construction is getting ready to bring in Bailey Bridges to cross the Merced River at the Ferguson Slide. Core samples are being drilled and footings are being readied
What is a Bailey Bridge ?
Bailey bridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sir Donald's Bailey Bridge
Bailey bridge: Definition and Much More From Answers.com
A Bailey Bridge near Wawona:
South Fork Merced River Bridge Replacement Project



JULY 5 News And Photos

July 14 News and Photos

July 20 News

 

Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 9:59 am:     

The 140 is soon to be open !

July 28 News
 

Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 11:47 am:     

Outgoing Mariposa CAO Mike Coffield told the AP that
"it is a slam dunk" that the funding from FEMA would be reapproved for Mariposa.

Let me see, when was the last time I heard that slam dunk phrase, oh, yes, now I remember, it was a little over three years ago when George Tenet ( Remember him, he received a medal for something or other) said it was a "slam dunk" for finding WMD's.
Very scary words you selected to use, Mr. Coffield !



July 31 News - An Open Letter To Mariposa County From Glen Bell,
Former Incident Information Officer For The Ferguson Rock Slide


AUGUST 2006

8-02-06
Ferguson Rock Slide Temporary Bridge photos are up.

Caltrans did another road test on the 120 the other day to see if the larger busses can get into Yosemite from that direction.
Makes up wonder about Caltrans long term solution for the 140,
 if there is one !

8-04 News

 
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 12:13 pm:     


The second bridge over the Merced River opens tommorrow with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:00 AM and then the bridge will be open to the public at 1:00PM from what we understand right now.
More details later this afternoon

Posted on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 8:00 am:     

Ribbon Cutting ceremony down at the Merced River in a few minutes.
Check for photos later today

 

SEPTEMBER, 2006

 
Posted on Friday, September 01, 2006 - 10:55 am:     


Good News:
According to CalTrans the 140 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With timed lights.
Still limited to vehicles no longer than 28 feet.

Thanks CalTrans and Teichert Workers.

Now drive down there and marvel at the stoplights in Mariposa County !



 

 








 

9-14-2006 Our View

What started out as just another rockslide
on the 140 turned into a natural disaster as the rocks kept tumbling down the mountain.
Later identified as part of a slide that started thousands of years ago the mountain had people predicting that the canyon could fill up to
300 feet deep if the mountain should collapse all at once !

Later as the geologist reports started coming in that 300 feet shrunk to 50-100 feet deep, thus giving time for the people who live in the canyon time
to evacuate if the slide should come down all at once.

Cal Trans after getting the green light from other organizations and assurances about the movement of the slide had Teichert Construction waiting in the wings as parts of a bridge were being ordered ahead of time.

Rumors had went around and around that the slide would keep the road closed for at least a year.

Caltrans had the first bridge up and running in about a month !  Along with six miles of road ! Surprising quite a few people in the process.

Caltrans then had the second bridge up and running in a little over two weeks !

We give Caltrans a huge tip of the hat along with the Teichert Construction Workers who got the job done !

Now as winter approaches we will wait and see what nature has in store for Highway 140 and the Ferguson Ridge Rockslide.

Caltrans has studies underway on a final solution for the 140 with reports out soon.


9-15-2006

Information from Caltrans on the three year timeline for a
final solution for the Ferguson Slide !
Mariposa County Board Of Supervisors Meeting 9-12-2006



9-19-06
Items on the Ferguson Slide:
Yarts is trying to find smaller buses so they can take more passengers around the slide. They are scouring the state for busses that are at the 28 foot limit.
Also in a related note, Caltrans has agreed to look at roads J59 and Highway 132 and what it would take to allow 45 foot busses to reach Coulterville.


October 2006,


10-15-06
Ferguson Rock Slide Monitoring:

 Ferguson Rockslide Monitoring

10-19-06
Board of Ssupervisors Meeting:

On discussion of the Ferguson Rockslide, Supervisor Stetson said that Caltrans will be testing certain types of vehicles over 28 feet that could maneuver around the two temporary bridges at the rockslide.


December 2006

12-07-06
Board of Supervisors Meeting:

Lee Stetson said that CalTrans was not on board as far as doing something with the temporary bridges to allow longer length vehicles to use the bridges. Cost of doing this and the time of closing the road again for these repairs were mentioned as reasons they do not support the idea, while they concentrate on getting a permanent fix in place for the Ferguson Ridge Slide.

12-15-06
Board of Supervisors Meeting:

On the Ferguson Slide the board would like to see  longer temporary bridges put in but Caltrans is still balking at this because of the cost involved with aligning another bridge on the Merced River to allow longer vehicles while they are still figuring out the permanent fix to get around the slide.
They are getting behind on coming up with a solution as Lee Stetson, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors keeps hearing that a solution is still weeks away.
He did say that Caltrans has said the cheapest method of a permanent fix would be to haul the dirt out of there at a projected cost of  $20M to the most expensive fix, a tunnel at projected costs of $220- $230M.

We will stand behind Caltrans as they have said a fix is three years down the road with a possible speed up in that time frame. They did a simply amazing job in putting in the two temporary bridges far faster than we thought was possible. The costs will more than likely escalate far higher than estimates as the cost of raw materials keeps increasing.

12-19-06
Board of Supervisors Meeting:

Chairman Lee Stetson talking about the permanent replacement solution for the Ferguson Rockslide said that the report that was supposed to be due in early January has now been pushed back to sometime in February. The report is supposed to list what Caltrans has come up with as far as a permanent fix on the 140 in the Merced River Canyon. Mr. Stetson also said that the plan was still on track according to Caltrans to be finished in the 24 - 36 month timeline originally provided by Caltrans.

2007
 

January 2007
1-02-07
As the new year starts, Caltrans will have a report out in the early part of the year and we will go from there.
Mariposa News - Ferguson Rock Slide Photo Update


January 16 Mariposa County Board Of Supervisors Meeting Highlights For January 16, 2007
You knew it was going to be a big day at the Mariposa County Board Of Supervisors Meeting when a television news station is there along with valley newspaper reporters !
 
March

March 7
Ferguson Rock Slide Special Meeting March 6, 2007
 
May

May 24
State Route 140 Ferguson Slide Restoration Project In Mariposa County

May 30
CalTrans and George Radanovich among others were at the Mariposa County Board Of Supervisors meeting today. Lots of talk about the Ferguson Slide Replacement. No plan selected yet. No funding can be implemented until a plan is finalized

June

June 12:
Source: Highlights of the Mariposa County Board Of Supervisors Meeting 6 / 12 / 2007
On the Ferguson Rockslide issue it was noted that Congressman George Radanovich is trying to secure funding for the permanent bridge replacement even before CalTrans comes up with some firm numbers. He recommended that a couple of local representatives travel to Washington DC. to meet with the  Transportation Committee to help secure the funding. It was suggested that the Mariposa CAO, Richard Benson and one or two other reps would go to Washington.
 
August

Highlights of the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday August 28, 2007
 On the Slide, Congressman George Radanovich said that emergency funding for the permanent bridges looks like a go and CalTrans is happy!

August 30:
ABC News 30 is reporting that the emergency federal dollars for the Ferguson Rock Slide permanent bridges has been approved!
October

October 9

Source: Mariposa County Board of Supervisors Meeting Highlights For October 9, 2007
Giving an update on the Ferguson Slide, Supervisor Janet Bibby said that three of the alternative plans have been discarded by CalTrans and that four plans are still in the running including the no build option. The $35 Million alternative "S"  (The two viaducts) is still on the table along with T-1 and C.
(Mariposa Says Yes To Alternative "S" & ..::Highway 140 Ultimate Restoration Project::.. - District 10)
November

November 20

A number of issues come together with the announcement of the
availability of issuance of an Environmental Assessment/Initial Study
and the date of a Public Hearing on the Ferguson Slide Restoration Project.
Leroy Radanovich - THE ECONOMY OF MARIPOSA COUNTY AND THE FERGUSON ROCK SLIDE: Part Two


Just how deep will the Ferguson Rock Slide fill the canyon when it comes down? A new report is out!
Simulations of Potential Runout and Deposition of the Ferguson Rockslide, Merced River Canyon, California


From CalTrans!
Initial Study with Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration/ Environmental Assessment


November 29
GOLDRUSHCAM-MESSAGE BOARD: 2007,NOVEMBER,30,FRIDAY
 
December 2007

December 11
Source: Mariposa County Board of Supervisors Meeting Highlights December 11,2007
CalTrans District 10 Director Kome Ajise, along with Julie Dunning were at the Board Meeting to discuss the Ferguson Rock Slide Permanent Restoration Project and to discuss the options it has on building the bypass. Mr. Ajise noted that comments are still being accepted to January 4, 2008.
Email: Contact- District 10 PIO.
 He said that there was a high level of general interest and that most respondents with their comments favored "S". Also in the comments some people wanted the existing radius fixed on the lower bridge allowing larger vehicles to then use that bridge, some also wanted the Rock Shed alternative brought back. The third bridge that will be installed was also noted that this bridge will be built to help facilitate the traffic on the 140 not for construction use as the rumors have circulated.  After they gather all the comments and work through the Wild and Scenic River Act, CalTrans hopes to begin work next summer. The Environmental Review is taking place right now. Kome commented that the River Act is new to them and if there is a problem how can they then mitigate the problem, also that the Clear Water Act could hinder year round construction. Supervisor Dianne Fritz noted that there is a desperate need to bring the buses back into Mariposa County for the businesses. Julie Dunning noted that CalTrans is working with the tourism industry so they can tell them exactly when the new bridge will be ready so the industry can get the word out to the world that the 140 will be back open for tour buses. The Board voted unanimously to sign a letter recommending "S" as the chosen alternative, to Caltrans.
On the Web: Ferguson Ultimate Project DED
2008

January 8
Source: Mariposa County Board of Supervisors Meeting Highlights For January 8, 2008
Under Ferguson Rockslide Discussion a letter from the park service was discussed that included points about having the temporary bridges extended and that the supports for the new bridge should be at the high-water line and not in the water. Supervisor Lyle Turpin commented that he would like to see some sort of documentation that the money is appropriated for the new bridge. Supervisor Bob Pickard said that he would like to see  some clarification on who has authority on the bridge.

January 10
A Change in the Air - Ferguson Rock Slide

January 13
Ferguson Rock Slide Alert Level raised to Advisory, the lower reporting GPS unit reports movement of .4" a day:
 Sierra National Forest - Ferguson Rock Slide


Why the temporary bridges need to be expanded! We told you a change is in the air!
Yosemite route fix called too hasty -- MercedSunStar.com


January 15
Source: Mariposa County Board of Supervisors Meeting Highlights For January 15, 2008

On the Ferguson Rock Slide a discussion about finding alternate funding sources for letting longer vehicles into El Portal and the Park though the 140. It was agreed that a meeting should be held with all agencies about the slide.

January 25
What now for Mariposa County?
CalTrans will now do a full EIR on the Ferguson Rockslide Permanent Replacement Bridge.
The Federal Registry
or if that link goes dead Federal Register: Main Page and type in CalTrans, Mariposa in the search box.


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