After the sudden and dramatic collapse of the Lake Mary Road tunnel and bridge a week or so ago, the Town of Mammoth and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area have moved fast toward construction of a new tunnel by Thanksgiving.
Town Manager Rob Clark said that debris removal allowed the opening of Lake Mary Rd. over the week-end. Clark explained that the original tunnel was 32 feet wide and that standard, pre-engineered bridges are 34 feet wide. So, crews under the supervision of Mammoth Mountain will make footings to accommodate the new width.
Manager Clark said that Lake Mary Road may close to one lane and even complete closure from time to time as construction moves ahead. Watch for signs. Clark said that he understands additional parts for the new bridge may arrive as early as next week. Now, crews will focus on the new footings. Clark described the activity as “everyone pulling together” to get the new bridge and tunnel constructed.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area will primarily handle construction, according to Clark. The old tunnel, he said, was built in two parts – one in the early 70s and the other in the mid-80s. The cause of the collapse of this structure is still under review by a forensic engineer.