Highway 50 fully reopens at Bridal Veil Falls
Nearly nine months after a partial collapse, all lanes of Highway 50 are open near Bridal Veil Falls, Caltrans announced Thursday, Nov. 9.
The section of U.S. 50, about seven miles east of Pollock Pines in El Dorado County, was damaged in February amid winter storms that fueled mudslides and wreaked havoc on the region’s roads. The two westbound lanes had to be closed after the slope failed.
A 600-foot retaining wall was built to stabilize the slope and the westbound lanes have been reconstructed. The total cost of the project was just under $10 million. The primary contractors on the repair work were Doug Veerkamp General Engineering, Inc., and Myers and Sons Construction, according to Caltrans.
As for road work closer to Tahoe, the project on 50 in South Lake Tahoe will likely continue through December, weather permitting. That work is phase one of a three-year project on a stretch of Highway 50, spanning from the Y to Trout Creek Bridge. In addition to stormwater treatment improvements, the project will widen the roadway to include 6-foot shoulders for bike lanes; replace traffic signals, curbs, gutters and sidewalks; and improve the pavement slope.
Caltrans recognizes the project has spurred some frustration and the agency appreciates the patience exerted by residents, said Deanna Shoopman, chief public information officer for Caltrans District 3.
Shoopman pointed to the limitations put on by both the weather and Caltrans’ effort to minimize the impact during tourist-heavy periods.
“We always do our best to makes sure that we’re trying to meet everyone’s needs,” she said.
As the Tribune reported in October, some businesses along Highway 50 say the construction has had a negative impact on their sales.
Noting that many of the same people working on the project also live in Tahoe and have to deal with the construction impacts, Shoopman said Caltrans is working hard to wrap up work on phase one.
Motorists are encouraged to always check highway conditions before traveling in the mountains by using QuickMap or calling 1-800-427-ROAD. QuickMap also is available as a free app at iTunes and Google Play.