Landslide closes CA 50 freeway in both directions at Echo Summit
Commuters who crossed the Sierra Nevada on Friday morning suffered significant delays as Highway 50 was closed at Echo Summit due to a landslide.
Caltrans District 3 announced the closure just east of the summit at around 6:15 am The closure affects eastbound and westbound traffic lanes and there is no estimated time for the full reopening. Caltrans officials said a lane was reopened to traffic at 2:30 p.m. after working hours, which included blasting fallen rocks with explosive charges. Work will continue in the area and crews will monitor the site throughout the weekend.
The California Highway Patrol’s South Lake Tahoe unit said the slide occurred around 5:45 am After the landslide, a Toyota 4Runner crashed into the rocks, tipping over onto its side. No one was injured in the accident.
Alternative routes to Tahoe
Caltrans said drivers should look for alternative routes. California Traffic and Transportation Agency officials said eastbound traffic from Sacramento should consider taking Hwy 16 East, then Hwy 49 South and Hwy 88 East. From here you can take Hwy 89 North back to Hwy 50. It is currently the most direct route to South Lake Tahoe which completely bypasses the majority of Hwy 50.
Caltrans recommends the same route back to Sacramento from South Lake Tahoe, although drivers can also return to Hwy 50 in the Placerville area via Hwy 49 after reaching Jackson from Hwy 88.
Alternatively, Sacramento drivers could take Interstate 80 east to Hwy 89 and then head south to South Lake Tahoe at Truckee, although this route is longer in terms of mileage and will likely take more time as well.
Caltrans has warned that Johnson Pass Road, a short and narrow single-lane mountain pass that could potentially be used to quickly bypass the Echo Summit area of Highway 50, is closed.
This story was originally published April 9, 2021 7:03 a.m.