Repairs on Badwater Road in Death Valley set to begin Monday


A road that was badly damaged by last fall’s record rainfall in Death Valley is set to be repaired.

Construction on Badwater Road, the route from southern Death Valley to Shoshone, California will begin Monday, but will remain closed until the construction is complete, which is tentatively set for July 14.

Storms in October resulted in severe flash flooding in Death Valley National Park. Road crews have cleared debris off roads and reopened hundreds of miles of roads since the rain event.

Badwater Road is currently open for 47 miles from CA-190 past Badwater to the unpaved Harry Wade Road.

The Jubilee Pass section of Badwater Road is closed from Harry Wade Road, milepost 47, to milepost 56. Through traffic is not possible from Shoshone, California to southern Death Valley during the closure.

This section of road has been closed since the storms in October and will remain closed during the construction phase due to safety concerns.

With the extreme summer heat the area sees, some construction work may take place at night. Due to the possibility of nighttime work, residents of Shoshone could see and hear construction trucks at any hour of the day.

October’s storms caused extensive damage to the Jubilee Pass section of Badwater Road and washed away extensive sections of the roadway. The Federal Highway Administration is funding the repairs and William Kanayan Construction is the general contractor performing the repairs.

Scotty’s Castle was the other area of the park that was most affected by the fall storms. A contract to connect a temporary water line from the spring to the structures’ fire suppression system is in the works.

Southern California Edison has replaced power poles, while repairs to the electrical distribution system at Scotty’s Castle are scheduled to begin soon.

Other work that needs to be done includes redesigning and reconstructing eight miles of road, replacing portions of the sewer system, permanent water line replacement and repairs to multiple historic structures.

Water entered the annex wing of Scotty’s Castle and two other historic structures again during a storm on April 27, displaying the importance of the repairs.

Park officials hope to have Scotty’s Castle fully repaired and reopened by 2019.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.