Via Eric Bissell, Yosemite National Park Climbing Ranger:
Yosemite National Park is working to implement several roadway and campground improvements within Yosemite Valley. Extensive work is being conducted on Northside Drive, the road leading from Yosemite Village to Yosemite Falls and toward the park exits. Significant work is also being conducted at Camp 4, a popular campground in Yosemite Valley. The current work is expected to be completed by this winter, and compliments the work that was completed earlier this summer.
On Northside Drive, work is being done to repave the road and add curbing for safety and resource protection. Work is also being done to realign portions of the road and do some sewer and utility work. The work on this portion of the road is in addition to work completed earlier this year which included a total redesign of the Yosemite Village Parking Area (formerly known as Camp 6), installation of a roundabout, and the repaving of the road from Stoneman Bridge to Yosemite Village. The total cost of the roadwork is approximately $14 million, coming from Federal Highways Administration, and the Recreational Fee Program.
In addition to the benefits of improving traffic flow and delineating visitor parking, the road projects include 1.7 acres of wetland restoration in an ecologically important and sensitive area of Yosemite Valley. The work is part of the implementation of the Merced River Plan, finalized in 2014, which directs actions that protect the Merced River (a federally designated Wild & Scenic River) and enhances the visitor experience.
Concurrently, significant work is being conducted in and around Camp 4, a popular walk-in campground in Yosemite Valley. Currently, the parking lot is being expanded, bringing the capacity to 130 vehicles. Either later this fall or in Spring, 2018, 25 campsites are being added (each site can accommodate 6 people) which will bring the total to 57 campsites. A new comfort station is also being constructed in which showers will be included. This will be the first park campground that will provide shower facilities for people staying in the campground. The total cost of the campground project is approximately $2 million (funded by the Recreational Fee Program) and is expected to be completed in 2018.
All roads within Yosemite Valley and Camp 4 remain open during the construction. There are some lane closures and traffic delays associated with the ongoing work. There will be no active construction in the winter, and projects will resume in Spring 2018.