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Caltrans Updates Sonora And Ebbetts Pass Snow Removal

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Sonora, CA – Caltrans has an update on the work being done to clear the “massive snowpack on two of the mountain passes.

Caltrans has brought in additional equipment and personnel. Since early April, crews have been able to clear more than 13 miles of deep snow on Highway 108 Sonora Pass, from the Sno-Park to Donnell’s Vista earlier this week. There are approximately 15 miles of roadway remaining in Tuolumne County from the Mono County line to the east to be cleared.

“Crew members face downed trees, rocks, and mudslides, buried in a deep, dense snowpack, that requires extra time to clear on a very narrow road with difficult-to-see, steep drop-offs. These conditions closed the route to large truck traffic, so operating snow removal equipment requires skill and patience,” detailed Caltrans officials.

HWY 108 Sonora Pass plowing operations
HWY 108 Sonora Pass plowing operations

The snow depth and roadway debris are expected to increase in the higher elevations, with Sonora Pass’s summit at 9,624 feet. Snowpack estimates are nearly 200 percent higher than an average year, 250 percent more than recent drought years, and as deep as 30 feet in some areas, according to Caltrans.

“We ask the traveling public for their patience,” said Dennis T. Agar, district 10 director. “Our crews are working hard to open the roadways in a safe manner after these remarkable winter storms.”

Maintenance lead Josh Markl added, “We need to do this safely. Please be patient. We’ll have it open as soon as we possibly can.”

In Calaveras County, crews also continue to work on Highway 4 Ebbetts Pass, challenged by significant snow and steep terrain, as can be seen in the video box.

Currently, there is no estimated time for reopening these passes. The actual typical closing and opening dates vary from year to year, with Caltrans usually opening these passes by Memorial Day Weekend. Caltrans has stated that they hope to have Sonora Pass open up to Kennedy Meadows by that holiday weekend.

 

 

 

  • Snow removal on Highway 108
  • Debris found on Highway 108
  • Debris found on Highway 108
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