Lake Tahoe weather: Interstate 80 to be closed both ways until midnight
January 4, 2017
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Caltrans District 3 is alerting motorists traveling to the Sierra Nevada, particularly on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit or U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit, to be prepared for significant travel delays.
Cold temperatures, heavy snowfall and windy conditions are forecast to continue through Thursday, Jan. 5, with an additional 1 to 2 feet of snow possible by morning.
In a press release Wednesday afternoon, Caltrans announced that I-80 will be closed in both directions until midnight Jan. 5 due to poor travel conditions and several weather-related accidents.
“Numerous incidents occurring the afternoon of January 4 forced the 2:25 p.m. closure of eastbound I-80 at Colfax and, because traffic backlogs prevented free movement of Caltrans snow removal equipment on both directions of the highway, westbound I-80 was closed at Truckee at 4:14 p.m.,” according to a statement. “Caltrans is anticipating incident clean-up and snow removal activities will allow re-opening by midnight Wednesday, January 4.”
Further, motorists using cable (ladder) chains may be turned around on Highway 267 at the Northstar and Kings Beach chain control checkpoints due to the severity of the wet snow, according to Caltrans.
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“Although cable chains are legal traction devices, they've proven to be ineffective when attempting to drive over Brockway Summit during heavy snow storms,” officials said. “Motorists can use Highway 89 as an alternate route. Access to the Northstar resort area is open for motorists traveling from the Truckee area.”
U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit is open, but traffic may be held intermittently during the storm for avalanche control.
Highway 89 over Emerald Bay was closed early Wednesday morning due to avalanche hazards. It will remain closed indefinitely.