More than 4,000 Caltrans employees are working 24/7 to repair state roadways impacted by recent storms and destabilized soil. Every region in California has been impacted by the winter storms.
There has been an estimated $401 million in storm damage to the state highway system at 190 locations. The stress placed on the state highway system by extreme weather continues to underline the need for stable sources of transportation funding to maintain California’s aging roads.
State Route 49 from Yuba Pass to Sattley was closed in both directions when a section of highway slid away during February storms. Caltrans hopes to open one lane of the highway on February 17, 2017, weather permitting. Photo courtesy of Caltrans
Meteorologists are predicting storm systems to impact California beginning Thursday and by Monday, the state may receive three to eight inches of rainfall, and snow levels could drop as low as 5,000 feet in Northern California.
Crews are currently working to restore full access to the following roadways; however, an estimated time of reopening is unavailable due to the incoming storm:
- State Route 1 near Leggett in Mendocino County has been closed since February 3 due to an active slide. Cleanup to reopen the highway has been slow due to the instability of the slide and concern for worker safety.
- S. Highway 50 in El Dorado County is closed from Pollock Pines to Strawberry for about 20 miles due to multiple active mudslides. The first slides occurred Feb. 10 and were cleared but several other slides have occurred. Caltrans has five large excavators, four loaders, 25 semi-trucks, one paver and one grinder working to clear the roads. Crews are hoping to have U.S. Highway 50 open by Feb. 16.
- Crews are working to restore State Route 37 between U.S. Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue in Marin County.
- Northbound State Route 17 Sugarloaf Road in Santa Cruz County is closed due to a mudslide.
- Westbound Interstate 80 is closed at the Nevada State line due to a landslide.
The recent storms have also affected rail and freight movement; below are a few of the major routes affected:
- Union Pacific Fresno Sub South of Elk Grove is out of service due to derailment on February 10, 2017.
- Union Pacific Sub above Oroville is out of service due to washouts, rockslides and flooding.
- Heavier than usual freight traffic over the Martinez subdivision between Oakland and Sacramento is leading to significant delays to Amtrak trains.
- The Coast Starlight is cancelled between Redding and Sacramento, however, trains are running from Redding to Seattle, and Sacramento to Los Angeles.
Caltrans anticipates additional closures with the new storm systems; motorists should check road conditions frequently. For the latest road condition information, the radio may be tuned to the Caltrans Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) at 530 AM, 1610 AM or 1670 AM or call the Caltrans Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623). Real time conditions are also available online and for mobile phones at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov.
U.S. Highway 50 in El Dorado County is closed from Pollock Pines to Strawberry for about 20 miles due to multiple active mudslides. The first slides occurred Feb. 10. Some locations were cleared, while others have developed. Caltrans has five large excavators, four loaders 25 semi-trucks, one paver and one grinder working to clear the roads. Crews are hoping to have US-50 open by Feb. 16. Photos courtesy of Caltrans and CHP
State Route 1 at Cow Cliffs on February 12, 2017. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.
Flooding on State Route 37 between U.S. Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue in Marin County. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.
For more winter operation photos visit: http://dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter-storms-2017/