In a report released by the Kingvale Communications Center, it was revealed just how extraordinary the 2022/2023 winter season was in the Sierra Nevada region, particularly for those navigating Interstate 80 at Donner Pass.
Cal-Trans District 3, the team dedicated to maintaining the highways in the Tahoe area, provided a comprehensive breakdown of the daunting statistics. As winter sports enthusiasts would testify, there were inconveniences such as traffic build-up, but as most would agree, it’s a small price to pay for exhilarating powder days.
The stats highlight the magnitude of this winter’s snowfall with a whopping 730 inches (or 60 feet 10 inches) of snow blanketing Donner Pass on I-80. This considerable volume of snow fell across 64 individual days, indicating the persistence and intensity of this winter season.
Such extreme weather conditions necessitated strict control measures to maintain road safety. There were a total of 78 days when chains were required for vehicles crossing the Pass. This amounted to approximately 900 hours, or an equivalent of 37.5 days, where chain control was in effect.
Here are the full stats:
- Total Snowfall: 730 inches (60 feet 10 inches)
- Total Days of Snowfall: 64
- Total Days of Chain Control: 78
- Total Hours of Chain Control: ~900 hours (37.5 days)
- Total Closures: 15
Despite efforts to keep the highway accessible, the extreme conditions led to I-80’s closure on 15 separate occasions throughout the winter season. The diligent work of the highway maintenance crews ensured that these closures were kept to a minimum and that the highway was safely usable for as long as possible.