Interstate landslide cleanup complete
January 9, 2006
A large brown scar on the hillside five miles east of Truckee is the only evidence of the landslide that closed Interstate 80 for more than a day last week.Caltrans has completed the cleanup of the slide, trucking more than 160 loads of dirt and rock from the interstate, said Caltrans spokeswoman Shelly Chernicki. Crews also cleared drains, shoulders and erected temporary barricades.Although the state transportation agency had $5 million available for repairing the roadway, Chernicki did not know the final cost of the effort.Caltrans officials are confident in the stability of slopes in the Truckee River Canyon, Chernicki said. Officials believe the slope’s collapse was due to the torrential rains over the New Year’s weekend.”The slope is stable,” Chernicki said. “What we were dealing with was 8 inches of rain in a short amount of time.”Geotechnical experts at Caltrans said that there have been small slides in the canyon along the interstate in the past, but nothing this large, Chernicki said.”The ground was saturated and there was just nowhere for [the water] to go,” she said.Maintenance crews may do more work in the area later in the year, said Chernicki.She said that it was fortunate that the slide occurred at 3 a.m., and that no drivers of the 10 vehicles trapped in the slide were injured.