Heavy snowfall and an unfinished road construction project contributed to major traffic delays on westbound Interstate 80 in the Sierra Monday night.
The freeway was closed to westbound traffic at Truckee overnight because of multiple traffic problems between Truckee and Emigrant Gap. As of 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, that closure was still in effect.
A FOX40 News crew left Donner Summit at about 7:00 p.m. Monday, before the interstate was closed, and finally arrived back in Sacramento at 2:00 a.m. That seven hour drive should normally take less than two hours.
Westbound traffic is limited to one lane for several miles between Donner Summit and Emigrant Gap because of a road construction project that was in progress when the snow started falling on Monday. With only one lane open, vehicles (especially trucks) that got stuck in the snow ended up blocking the entire freeway until they could be towed or provided with tire chains. Traffic was simply not moving at all for several hours Monday night. Because of the traffic, plows could not access portions of the interstate to clear snow, making it even more difficult for cars that were stuck as the snow continued to fall.
For the very latest updates on freeway conditions, travelers can call the Caltrans highway information line at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).