Big Oak Flat Entrance Station
Client: National Park Service
Yosemite National Park, California
Background and Issues
The Big Oak Flat Entrance Station on Highway 120 and is one of the two busiest entrance stations to Yosemite. Constructed in 1964 as part of Mission 66 improvements to the National Park System, the two kiosks and office were in needed of major safety and ADA improvements. These kiosks were small, sunken down into the road, and were not accessible to someone with mobility issues. The traffic through the station had increased dramatically since the opening. In order to handle summer weekend crowds, rangers were walking out through the queue line and collecting tolls in the lines instead of in the kiosks. This created a safety hazard for the rangers. The adjacent office building did not meet ADA requirements. The wooden deck on the nearby contact station was deteriorated and did not meet ADA requirements.
During a preliminary design charrette with the client, we discovered that although only three drive lanes were built in 1964, the area had been graded for four lanes. This created an opportunity to add another lane and kiosk to improve the visitor experience and ranger safety within the already developed footprint. The work at the office building was reduced to the ADA upgrades. Working closely with the Yosemite Park staff, we were able to provide the three kiosks and four lanes within the original budget for two kiosks and three lanes. The deteriorated deck at the contact station was replaced and minor revisions were made to the contact station to provide accessible access for visitors and staff.
Heidi Y. Granke was the project manager for this project while at Architectural Resources Group.