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Storm Strikes State’s Transportation Infrastructure



Over 4,000 Caltrans Employees are Working 24/7 to Restore the State Highway System

Date: February 15, 2017
District: Headquarters
Contact: Angela DaPrato
Phone: (916) 654-3442
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: (916) 657-5060

SACRAMENTO - Caltrans crews are working 24/7 on numerous state routes in California to repair roadways impacted by recent storms and unstable soil.

U.S. Highway 50 in El Dorado County was closed from Pollock Pines to Strawberry for about 20 miles due to multiple active mudslides. The first slides occurred Feb. 10 and were cleared but several other slides have occurred. Caltrans has five large excavators, four loaders, 25 semi-trucks, one paver and one grinder working to clear the roads. Crews opened U.S. Highway 50 late Feb. 14.

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

"Our roadways have been pounded this winter by the severe weather conditions. Crews are mobilized across the state removing debris, repairing road damage, performing traffic control and assessing ongoing risks. As we work to reopen many of our roadways, we are also preparing for the next wave of storms. We will continue to work around the clock."

Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltrans

Every region in California has been affected by the winter storms, and thus far, there has been an estimated $401 million in storm damage to the state highway system at 190 locations.

Meteorologists are predicting storm systems to impact California beginning Thursday and by Monday, the state may receive three to eight inches of rainfall, and snow levels could drop as low as 5,000 feet in Northern California.

Crews are currently working to restore full access to the following roadways; however, an estimated time of reopening is unavailable due to the incoming storm:

A rockslide affected State Route 1 at Cow Cliffs on February 12, 2017.

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

  • Westbound Interstate 80 is closed at the Nevada State line due to a landslide.
  • U.S. Highway 50 in El Dorado County was closed from Pollock Pines to Strawberry for about 20 miles due to multiple active mudslides. The first slides occurred Feb. 10 and were cleared but several other slides have occurred. Caltrans has five large excavators, four loaders, 25 semi-trucks, one paver and one grinder working to clear the roads. Crews opened U.S. Highway 50 late Feb. 14.
  • State Route 1 near Leggett in Mendocino County has been closed since Feb. 3 due to an active slide. Cleanup to reopen the highway has been slow due to the instability of the slide and concern for worker safety.
  • Northbound State Route 17 at Sugarloaf Road in Santa Cruz County is closed due to a mudslide.
  • Crews are working to restore State Route 37 between U.S. Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue in Marin County.

Flooding on State Route 37 between U.S. Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue in Marin County.

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

The recent storms have also affected rail and freight movement; below are a few of the major routes affected:

  • Union Pacific Fresno Sub South of Elk Grove is out of service due to derailment on Feb. 10.
  • Union Pacific Sub above Oroville is out of service due to washouts, rockslides and flooding.
  • Heavier than usual freight traffic over the Martinez subdivision between Oakland and Sacramento is leading to significant delays to Amtrak trains.
  • The Coast Starlight is cancelled between Redding and Sacramento; however, trains are running from Redding to Seattle, and Sacramento to Los Angeles.

Caltrans anticipates additional closures with the new storm systems; motorists should check road conditions frequently. For the latest road condition information, the radio may be tuned to the Caltrans Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) at 530 AM, 1610 AM or 1670 AM or call the Caltrans Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623). Real time conditions are also available online and for mobile phones at Caltrans QuickMap.

A large portion of State Route 35 near Castle Rock State Park in Santa Clara County collapsed due to a major wash out February 10, 2017.

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

State Route 49 from Yuba Pass to Sattley was closed in both directions when a section of highway slid away during February storms. Caltrans hopes to open one lane of the highway on February 17, 2017, weather permitting.

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

For more winter operation photos visit our Photo Gallery: Caltrans Responds to Storms February 2017



Statewide Alerts and Other Information

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Contact Information

General Information:

General Information Line: (916) 654-2852

Media Inquiries:
Find your local Caltrans media contact on our
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or call our
Media Line: (916) 657-5060.

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You can also call
1-800-427-7623
for current highway conditions or find more information about roads, traffic and travel on
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Physical Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814

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