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Update: Highway 50 open in both directions, Caltrans says

Staff Report
A rockslide Thursday forced closure of U.S. Highway 50 at Echo Summit.
Provided/CHP
Caltrans cleans up the rockslide on Friday.
Provided/Caltrans

Update 3:15 p.m.:

U.S. Highway 50 has reopened in both directions, according to a tweet from Caltrans Friday afternoon.

Update 10:30 a.m.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. — Caltrans said personnel successfully blasted the massive boulder blocking U.S. Highway 50 and cleanup is underway.

Caltrans estimated that the road will be reopened sometime this afternoon, unofficially at 2 p.m., according to a message on social media.



The highway remains closed westbound in Meyers and eastbound in Pollock Pines.

Morning update

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. — Travelers headed to, or from, South Lake Tahoe Friday morning using U.S. Highway 50 need to find another route.



U.S. 50 remains closed in both directions at Echo Summit Friday morning due to a massive rockslide.

The rockslide happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday evening and Caltrans crews worked through the night drilling holes in a huge boulder that sits in the middle of the road among many large-sized boulders.

Workers are scheduled to perform blasting operations Friday morning and repair guard rail damaged by the rocks, Caltrans said.

There is still no estimated time of reopening.

Caltrans said the drilling has taken longer than expected due to the massive size of the boulder.

CHP is turning eastbound motorists around at Sly Park Road and Sierra-at-Tahoe, and detouring westbound travelers at State Route 89 junction and Meyers. Caltrans advises motorists to use Interstate 80 as an alternate route.

Motorists heading to the Sierra should avoid using backroads due an expected snow storm, said Caltrans spokesperson Angela DaPrato.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory predicting hazardous mountain travel and encourages motorists to avoid traveling Friday afternoon through at least Saturday morning.

The service is predicting four to eight inches of snow over the higher peaks above 4,000 feet and one to four inches above 2,500 feet.

Travelers should expect slippery, snow covered roads and reduced visibility at times. Chain controls are possible.

Motorists should carry traction-control devices in their vehicles as permitted highway chain installers do not sell traction devices. Periods of chain control are anticipated during the storm with posted speed limits of 30 mph on I-80 during chain-enforcement periods.

Motorists preferring not use I-80 as alternate route can use the scenic gold country routes in El Dorado and Amador counties, said Caltrans. However, there is a possibility the routes could be closed due to the snow. Motorists should allow at least one-hour extra travel time to reach South Lake Tahoe.

Caltrans crews worked through the night drilling holes in a massive boulder that’s sitting in the middle of the road.
Provided/Caltrans

The alternate routes available are:

From Sacramento to Nevada: From US-50 take the Power Inn Road Exit to SR-16 east, to SR-49 south, to SR-88 east then to SR-89 north.

From Placerville to Nevada: From US-50 take SR-49 south to SR-88 east then to SR-89 north into South Lake Tahoe.

From the East Bay to Nevada: Take SR-88 east in Stockton to SR-88 south then to SR-89 north into South Lake Tahoe.

From Reno/Carson City to the Sacramento area: Take Nevada SR-88 south to California SR-88 west then onto SR-88 to US-50 into Placerville. Or take SR-49 north to SR-16 west then to US-50 west towards El Dorado Hills/Folsom.

From South Lake Tahoe to the Sacramento area: Take SR-89 to SR-88 west then take SR-49 north to US-50 into Placerville or take SR-49 north to SR-16 west then to US-50 west towards El Dorado Hills/Folsom.

Motorists coming through the Stockton area can exit SR-99 to SR-88 east, continuing onto SR-88/49. In Jackson, turn left to continue on SR-88 east. At SR-89 turn left (north) and follow it to US-50 into South Lake Tahoe.

Motorists can use Caltrans’ “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or call the California Highway Information Network automated phone service at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

Original post

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. — A massive rockslide has closed U.S. Highway 50 in both directions on Thursday at Echo Summit.

A “cabin-sized” boulder is among many other large boulders that have blocked the road.

There is no estimated time of reopening.

Travelers are advised to use alternate routes such as Interstate 80 or California state routes 89, 88 and 49.

There were no injuries reported.

A rockslide Thursday forced closure of U.S. Highway 50 at Echo Summit.
Provided/CHP

 


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