Kingsbury Grade opens |

Kingsbury Grade opens

The rocks have been hauled away, the dirt has been swept up and now commuters from South Shore to Carson Valley don’t have to drive out of their way to get up and down the mountain.

The Nevada Department of Transportation opened Kingsbury Grade at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. It had been closed since Monday afternoon when 7,000 cubic yards of rock and soil broke from a mountain slope and covered both lanes.

“The main reason it took so long is we wanted to stabilize the slope,” said Scott Magruder, NDOT spokesman. “Safety was our primary concern.”

The rock slide was about a mile from Foothill Road in the valley.

Cost estimates for the cleanup were about $100,000. On the slope, contractors had to rebuild a bench, a giant stair step in the mountain wall that is intended to catch and retain debris from the slope above.

The last major rock slide on Kingsbury Grade happened during the floods of 1997.

“I wouldn’t say it’s common, but because of the amount of snowfall we get and erosion, it does happen,” Magruder said. “Any time you have a mountain highway and steep slopes, it can happen.”

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