The Lake Mary Road Tunnel in Mammoth Lakes collapsed Friday evening. A loader was reportedly in the area, but officials said no one was hurt by the sudden structural collapse.
In a press release, Mammoth Community Relations Director Stuart Brown said that the tunnel collapsed at about 5:45 pm. The tunnel provided access to the Lakes Basin and the Eagle Express Chairlift. Brown said that the cause of the collapse has not yet been determined.
As a result of the collapse, Lake Mary Rd. is closed to vehicular traffic above Bridges Lane. Access to and from the Lakes Basin is available via Old Mammoth Rd. The Town placed electronic message boards and detour signs along Main St. and Lake Mary Rd. to tell motorists of
the alternate route using Old Mammoth Rd. Officials advised caution due to the new snow in town.
The Town of Mammoth had contracted with Speiss Construction to work on the Lake Mary Rd. bike path project. It is unknown if that project were related to Friday night’s tunnel collapse. It is known that the Town of Mammoth, Spiess Construction, the Forest Service and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area officials are working together to remove the collapsed tunnel to re-open Lake Mary Rd. by early next week.
Officials added that the process of designing and constructing the new permanent bridge will begin immediately with completion anticipated by November 26 – the scheduled opening day for the Eagle Express Chairlift. Town Manager Rob Clark said that Mammoth is committed to ensuring that the new bridge is in place by Thanksgiving.
On scene Friday night, Mammoth Police Lieutenant Jim Short had said the bridge “pancaked down in the center.” The bridge was constructed many decades ago.