Sierra passes close for the winter |

Sierra passes close for the winter

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Ebbetts, Monitor and Sonora passes closed for the winter this week, the latest they’ve closed in the last seven years.

“The weather conditions on the passes and road conditions are the determining factors for the closure,” said Caltrans Maintenance Superintendent Jon Bevan.

“Caltrans closed the passes for the safety of motorists and Caltrans crews,” said Bevan.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) closed State Route 4 over Ebbetts Pass, State Route 89 over Monitor Pass and State Route 108 over Sonora Pass. The recent storm and the upcoming weather predictions make it necessary to close these passes for the winter.

Of the three passes, Monitor was closed for the shortest amount of time, from Dec. 15 until April 29.

Ebbetts and Sonora passes both closed around Thanksgiving in 2010. Sonora Pass reopened on May 27, 2011. Sonora Pass didn’t reopen until June 7.

For the latest road condition information, tune your radio to the Caltrans Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) at 530 AM or 1610 AM or call our Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623). Changeable Message Signs with flashing beacons will have information regarding the pass closure.

Winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly. Motorists should expect the worst conditions and be prepared. All vehicles including those with four-wheel drive or snow tires should carry chains when traveling during snowy weather. If you don’t have chains in your possession, you may not be allowed to proceed. When highway signs indicate that chains are required, you must stop and install chains or risk being cited and fined.

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