Caltrans to resume Echo Summit Project Wednesday, full closure starting Sept. 18 |

Caltrans to resume Echo Summit Project Wednesday, full closure starting Sept. 18

U.S Highway 50 over Echo Summit will be closed to motorist for 14 days for bridge demolition work and the installation of new girders.
Provided / Caltrans

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Work is scheduled to resume on the U.S. Highway 50 Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct Replacement Project Wednesday that will start with one-way traffic and lead up to a full closure a few days later, Caltrans announced Friday.

Construction on the $14.1 million project will begin again starting Wednesday, Sept. 9. Motorists should expect one-way traffic control from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 7 a.m. to noon Friday, with delays up to 20 minutes.

Continuous one-way traffic control is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, to demolish the existing structure. A full closure of Highway 50 is set to begin the morning of Friday, Sept. 18 for up to two weeks to install seven precast, prestressed 96-foot bridge girders and associated work.

Weather or other unexpected delays may prolong the closure beyond Friday, Oct. 2.

The project is replacing the existing bridge, which was built in 1939, with one that meets current seismic and safety standards. It includes $5.2 million in funding from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. This legislative package invests $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and safety. 

Construction on this project started in May 2019 and is expected to be completed by December 2020. 

Requests for permits for daily commuters over Echo Summit to use Johnson Pass Rd., as a detour around the work site during the closure can be submitted online at

Caltrans staff will be on hand at its Meyers Maintenance Station, 2243 Cornelian Drive, Monday through Friday, Sept. 14-18 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to issue Johnson Pass Rd., passes in person for daily commuters. Caltrans staff also will be at the El Dorado County Government Center, 2850 Fairline Court in Placerville, Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 14-15 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to issue passes. Proof of residency or business purposes will be required.  

A signed detour route will be available using State Routes 89, 88, 49 and 16. The detour adds about 35 miles (45 minutes) each way from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe. More information on the detour is available here:

Travelers are advised that there are minimal services available and limited mobile phone access along the high elevations of the detour route. Motorists are advised to have a full tank of gas and to carry extra food, water and clothing. 

For more information on the project, visit

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