MARYSVILLE – Caltrans is alerting motorists traveling in the Sierra foothills, mountain areas or over the Donner or Echo Summits to be prepared for travel delays resulting from the winter storm expected to arrive Saturday March 4 and continue through Monday morning. Mountain area chain controls, gusty winds, and low visibility on summit passes are expected due to the storm.
The National Weather Service states that snow levels may be as low as 2,000 feet and that up to 3 feet of snow could fall in the higher elevations. [if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter" /> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0" /> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0" /> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1" /> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2" /> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth" /> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight" /> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1" /> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2" /> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth" /> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0" /> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight" /> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0" /> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect" /> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t" /> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="Picture_x0020_3" o:spid="_x0000_s1026" type="#_x0000_t75" alt="Snowy I80 12March16" style='position:absolute;margin-left:-.2pt;margin-top:.15pt;width:231.9pt;height:173.9pt;z-index:251658240;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square;mso-width-percent:0;mso-height-percent:0;mso-wrap-distance-left:9pt;mso-wrap-distance-top:0;mso-wrap-distance-right:9pt;mso-wrap-distance-bottom:0;mso-position-horizontal:absolute;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text;mso-position-vertical:absolute;mso-position-vertical-relative:text;mso-width-percent:0;mso-height-percent:0;mso-width-relative:page;mso-height-relative:page'> <v:imagedata src="cid:image002.jpg@01D29443.52D44B50" o:title="Snowy I80 12March16" /> <w:wrap type="square"/> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml]
[endif]Windy conditions are also forecast, so low-visibility, whiteout conditions on mountain roadways may occur. Chain controls over Donner and Echo Summits (Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50) as well as other higher elevation roadways should be anticipated. Motorists are required to carry chains even if driving a four- or all-wheel drive vehicle with mud + snow rated tires.
Be advised that motorists using cable (ladder) chains may be turned around on Highway 267 at the Northstar and Kings Beach chain control checkpoints. Although cable chains are legal traction devices, they’ve proven to be ineffective when attempting to drive over Brockway Summit during heavy snow storms. Motorists can use Highway 89 as an alternate route. Access to the Northstar resort area is open for motorists traveling from the Truckee area.
Motorists traveling on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit may be held intermittently during the storm for avalanche control. Highway 89 over Emerald Bay is currently open but may be closed due to avalanche hazards. Traffic on Interstate 80 may also be held intermittently to clear traffic incidents or if low-visibility conditions occur.
Caltrans’ snow removal crews will be working throughout the storm on summit passes and impacted Caltrans roadways. Caltrans permitted and trained chain installers on Interstate 80 can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number. Motorists are encouraged to use caution in chain installation/removal areas where pedestrians are present and to not crowd snow removal equipment, passing only when the whole roadway ahead is visible.
Severe weather may slow motorists, resulting in roadway congestion. Wet and slippery roadways reduce tire traction, especially at high vehicle speeds. Hydroplaning can result in loss of driver control. Motorists are encouraged to slow down, plan ahead and follow the winter driving tips at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html.
Check out Caltrans' “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. A mobile version is also available.
Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
Motorists can see real-time conditions before they hit the road by using our map of traffic cameras available for District 3 and statewide.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]For Interstate 80 and Highway 50 updates, follow Caltrans District 3 on Twitter and Facebook to receive the latest information about current roadway conditions.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]For forecast information, visit the National Weather Service website.
Motorists are urged to be “Be Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.” Caltrans will issue updates on Twitter @D3PIO and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict 3.