(Updated) Kingsbury Grade between Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley closed indefinitely
Update, 8:44 a.m. Apr. 9: The Nevada Department of Transportation issued a press release late Saturday afternoon announcing that Kingsbury Grade had been reopened at approximately 4:30 p.m. that day, following repairs to an eroding roadside slope as well as extensive rockfall.
According to the statement, soil saturation and additional winter weather may lead to future road closures.
Original story below:
Kingsbury Grade will remain closed indefinitely on the Carson Valley side due to a major rockfall, the Nevada Department of Transportation announced Friday.
The highway (Nevada Route 207) was closed early Friday afternoon as NDOT and a contractor removed loose trees and earth from a roadside slope in an effort to try and minimize the amount of rocks and mud falling onto the highway, according to a press release. The slope had slid approximately 1 foot within the past 24 hours Friday.
Additional boulders approximately 4 feet and larger in diameter began falling onto the highway from other areas. In its press release, NDOT said the road will remain closed indefinitely until the imminent rockfall danger can be addressed.
NDOT and rockfall mitigation experts are closely evaluating the multiple rockfall areas to safely remove remaining loose boulders from the roadside slopes. Some of the slopes are more than 100 feet high.
Residential and business access on the Tahoe side of Kingsbury Grade is still available via U.S. 50. The section of road is traveled by approximately 5,600 vehicles daily.
Severe winter storms during the past several months have posed problems on highways throughout the Sierra Nevada.
Kingsbury Grade was closed during several periods in January due to a sinkhole. In February, vehicle-sized boulders fell onto the eastbound lane of U.S. 50 near Cave Rock in Nevada. The highway was closed for days as the danger of additional falling boulders lingered. Later that month, one of the westbound lanes of U.S. 50 east of Bridal Veil Falls in California collapsed due to soil erosion under the highway. The repair process is ongoing, although the highway is still open in a reduced configuration.
NDOT warned that with the already saturated soil and additional winter weather in the forecast, more slides and subsequent road closures may occur. Nevada road updates can be found at nvroads.com or by dialing 511.