It was hard to predict exactly what sort of conditions the Sierra would see over the winter after the Caldor Fire burned through burned more than 220,00 acres just west of Lake Tahoe. Now, we know that rockfalls are having a major impact on the high-elevation areas of the region.
On Wednesday morning, another giant boulder fell onto Highway 50 near over Echo Summit, marking the third time this month the roadway has been impacted by rockfalls. The boulder was blocking two lanes, but CalTrans was able to quickly clear one lane for thru traffic. Currently, delays are expected over the summit with only one lane available to cars.
On March 4, two large boulders fell onto Highway 50 near the same area. One hit car and caused significant damage to the vehicle:
The other was so big that CalTrans had to blow it up in order to remove it from the roadway:
There’s not a whole lot drivers can do right now to prevent being the victim of a rockfall over Echo Summit, other than avoiding the roadway completely. Watch where you’re driving and keep an eye out for rockfalls as you drive over the steep areas of the summit. Also, expect delays for the next day or two as they remove this boulder.