U.S. 50 still closed near Cave Rock; Kingsbury Grade open; mudslide shuts down U.S. 50 in Pollock Pines | TahoeDailyTribune.com

U.S. 50 still closed near Cave Rock; Kingsbury Grade open; mudslide shuts down U.S. 50 in Pollock Pines

UPDATE 6 p.m. FRIDAY: U.S. 50 at Sly Park Rd. will be closed for a minimum of 24 hours due to landslides.

One landslide struck a jeep, but no one was injured.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m. FRIDAY: Multiple mudslides in the Kyburz and Pollock Pines areas have been keeping Caltrans busy.

One mudslide was cleaned up around 3:30 p.m., but was followed by another “major” one that has closed U.S. 50 in both directions.

There is not estimated time for the clearing of the highway.

UPDATE 12:31 p.m. FRIDAY: Kingsbury Grade is now open in both directions, according to tweets from NDOT and NHP.

Snow tires and chains are required, and semi trucks are prohibited.

UPDATE 11:20 a.m. FRIDAY:

Kingsbury Grade, the primary route of travel between Lake Tahoe’s South Shore and Northern Nevada, is closed in both directions due to weather and multiple crashes.

Nevada Highway Patrol Northern Command tweeted about the closure around 10:30 a.m. There is not estimated time for reopening the road, NHP tweeted.

UPDATE 9:30 a.m. FRIDAY: US 50 remains closed Friday near Cave Rock east of Lake Tahoe; chain control on Kingsbury Grade

U.S. 50 remains closed east of Lake Tahoe near the Cave Rock area and heavy snow is forcing chain requirements on the primary detour between Lake Tahoe’s South Shore and Northern Nevada.

The highway has been closed since Wednesday when a vehicle-sized boulder fell onto the eastbound lanes, which were closed at the time. It was the fifth large boulder to fall in three days. With another large boulder sitting on an unstable slope above the highway, the Nevada Department of Transportation is waiting to reopen the road until the boulder falls or the surface stabilizes. There is no estimated time for re-opening U.S. 50.

Kingsbury Grade (Nevada 207) is the primary detour for those needing to travel from the South Shore to Northern Nevada. At least one accident has temporarily shutdown traffic on Kingsbury in the past 24 hours. Chain controls are currently in effect and NDOT camera footage shows heavy snow falling toward the top of Kingsbury.

UPDATE 6 a.m. FRIDAY: US 50 remains closed Friday at Cave Rock near Lake Tahoe after rockfall

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, U.S. 50 remains closed near the Cave Rock area east of Lake Tahoe as of 6 a.m. Friday.

UPDATE 8:30 a.m. THURSDAY: US 50 remains closed at Cave Rock near Lake Tahoe after rockfall

U.S. 50 remains closed near the Cave Rock area east of Lake Tahoe.

The highway was closed Wednesday afternoon after another large boulder fell from the roadside slope. It was the fifth boulder to fall in three days, and with additional boulders perched above on the unstable slope the Nevada Department of Transportation closed the highway.

Safety is the top priority, Meg Ragonese, NDOT public information officer, to the Tribune on Wednesday.

At the time, Ragonese said crews were monitoring the situation but there was no estimated time for reopening U.S. 50.

“We just want to keep everyone safe,” she said.

The Tribune will continue to update this story as new details become available.

WEDNESDAY: Clarification: US 50 closed at Cave Rock area near Lake Tahoe after rockfall

Rain isn't the only thing falling from above and causing issues in the Tahoe Basin.

U.S. 50 is completely closed near the Cave Rock area east of Lake Tahoe following three days in which large boulders fell onto the road, the Nevada Department of Transportation announced Wednesday. Vehicles traveling in both directions were being turned around on opposite ends of the closure.

Travel had been reduced to one lane in each direction since Tuesday, with both directions of traffic shifted to the westbound lanes away from the rockfall area. However, after another “very large” boulder — the fifth in three days — fell into the eastbound lanes Wednesday, NDOT made the decision to close the highway, explained Meg Ragonese, NDOT public information officer.

The heavy rain over the past three days has soaked the basin and caused flooding and slides throughout the region. No vehicles were involved in the U.S. 50 falls, which occurred near Logan Creek Drive north of Cave Rock, and no injuries were reported, according to NDOT.

Large boulders remain perched on the roadside slope. The temporary road closure is a safety precaution, and the eastbound lanes will reopen once the situation is deemed safe.

Two rows of concrete barrier rail have been placed on the closed eastbound side of the roadway to help capture additional boulders before they slide into traffic, according to NDOT. A sloped berm of gravel will be placed behind the barrier rail to help further diffuse and prevent rock fall onto the highway.

Approximately $15 million has been dedicated to reduce rockslide and other erosion near U.S. 50 at Tahoe, according to NDOT. The majority of U.S. 50 roadside slopes in the Glenbrook area have already been stabilized with rock-fall netting or reinforced roadside slopes. Other areas have barrier rail or wall built at the bottom to contain and collect erosion-related rockfall.

NDOT also extended the westbound lakeside Cave Rock tunnel entrance in 2016. The approximately 60-foot long and 27-foot tall structure extends the previous tunnel to enhance safety by catching rock fall before it reaches the roadway.

As heavy precipitation continues across the region, NDOT reminds motorists of the increased likelihood of rockslides, mudslides and avalanches in the areas. Drivers are reminded to always drive safely and watch the road ahead.

Clarification: This post originally stated that the eastbound lanes were closed and traffic in both directions was down to a total of two lanes. The post has been updated to reflect that the entire highway is closed in this area.

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