Highway 89 repairs on track to be done by Monday

Kurt Hildebrand / Record Courier
California Department of Transportation crews work on a culvert at the Millberry Creek washout on Wednesday.
Provided/Record Courier

The main route between Markleeville and the rest of the world will open to one-way traffic, CalTrans announced on Thursday.

Alpine County announced that morning and evening escorts for vehicles around the construction site will end with the 6 p.m. session.

The road is still scheduled to reopen on Monday, but might be ready earlier.

Workers from the California Department of Transportation backfilled a new 8-foot culvert across Highway 89 on Wednesday in an effort to reopen the highway on time.

Washed out on Aug. 3 after a thunderstorm dropped roughly 2 inches of rain an hour on the Tamarack Fire Burn, the new culvert is twice as wide as the one that failed.

The flood occurred as plans to replace the old 4-foot culvert with an even larger concrete box structure. Installing the larger structure was estimated to take 5-6 weeks, delaying the opening of the highway into mid-September.

The flood also sent mud and debris into the town of Markleeville, which has been cleaning up.

Reopening of the highway and status of work in town will be the subject of an 11 a.m. briefing today.

The county has been escorting residents around the washout since Friday and will continue to do so until the road opens.

In response to the Highway 89 closure, Alpine County approved $65,000 for economic recovery for businesses, workforce and residents who experienced an economic hardship as a result of the debris flows and road closures.

“If you are a resident and operate a business in the road closure area, and both were impacted by the incident, you can fill out a resident/workforce application and a business application,” officials said.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 26. Applications received after the deadline may not receive funding.

Resident & Workforce Application:

Business Application:

Businesses must also fill out an Economic Injury Disaster Worksheet to qualify for funding.

There are also other fundraisers underway, including a Go Fund Me conducted by the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for business recovery in Alpine County. Visit

Caltrans also has a damage claim process with forms available at Alpine County’s web site at

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