Work begins soon to open Ebbetts and Sonora passes

Work to clear Sonora and Ebbetts passes begins next week, the California Department of Transportation announced on Friday.

Workers hope to have both passes open by the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.

Work on Ebbetts Pass where Highway 4 crosses the Sierra in Alpine County is expected to start on April 8.

Sonora Pass work is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

There’s a lot of work to be done on these seasonal highways besides moving snow.

“After snow is removed, plugged drains need to be cleaned and downed signs need to be replaced,” according to District 10 spokesman Warren Alford. “Often, trees have fallen or are about to fall on the road and need to be removed. Vegetation is cleared so that sight distance is adequate for safe travel.”

Before opening the highways to the public, pavement cracks are sealed and they get brand new stripes.

Ebbetts, Sonora and Monitor passes all closed on Nov. 28, 2018.

Ebbetts Pass was closed until June 30 during the big snow year of 2017. Sonora Pass wasn’t opened until June 13 that year.

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