Busy Road To Lake Tahoe May Close For Weeks

Drivers Could Experience A 90-Mile Detour

KCBS Radio Morning News
September 04, 2019 - 11:38 am
Lake Tahoe

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File)

One of the two main routes to Lake Tahoe may shut down in October for up to two weeks.

Caltrans is considering a plan to close part of Highway 50 to repair a bridge over Echo Summit, which leads to South Lake Tahoe.

“The original bridge was built in 1939,” said Steve Nelson with Caltrans. “In order to finish the project we’re going to shut down Highway 50 for up to 14 days and we’re looking to do that in mid-October.”

The closure has yet to be confirmed, as Caltrans has limited windows to make the repairs.

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“Contractually we’re not allowed to close the highway during the peak tourist season in Lake Tahoe, so we had to either do it after Labor Day of this year or push it back into spring of next year,” said Nelson. “And we’re hoping now that the weather cooperates with us to get it done in October.”

The bridge was previously closed for two weeks in 2011. The closure had a significant impact on traffic and businesses.

Nelson said visitors coming from the Bay Area can take alternate routes to get around the closure, but it will add about 90 miles to the trip.

“Take Highway 16 in Sacramento and pick up with Highway 49, through 88 to 89 and then back to 50,” said Nelson. “But that does add about an hour and a half.”

Caltrans is holding two meetings to inform the public of the potential closure. The first will be held Sept. 4 at Placerville Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. The second will be held on Sept. 5 at the California Conservation Corps Tahoe Center in Meyers at 5:30 p.m.

Reported by Jim Taylor.