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Snow in the Sierra Means Rough Holiday Driving

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Vacationers going up Interstate 80 all have the same idea this weekend.

"We're going to Reno," said San Jose resident Jun Wan.

"We're going up to ski in Tahoe," said New York resident Mark Hendel.

Getting through the Sierra Friday into Saturday will be a beautiful, but rough ride. Chain control, slick roads and slow downs are expected.

"The snow came in heavy this morning, and then it warmed up and the snow melts and it's like soap on tile," said Dave Wood with Caltrans.

Drivers got gold stars from Caltrans Friday afternoon as few issues were reported on the road, but it's the evening Caltrans is worried about, when the sun sets and snow blankets the road.

"The snow is coming down heavily; we expect afternoon traffic to pick up," Wood said.

Caltrans said the best way to arrive at holiday celebrations safely Friday evening is to slow down. The speed limit is 30 mph on the highway and 25 mph on secondary roads, but not everyone follows the rules.

"I just can't have people going by 75 mph, and it's my understanding someone was cited for going that fast in chain control today," Wood said.

Caltrans use 12 to 14 motor graders on Interstate 80 Friday. It's a vehicle with six-wheel drive and has chains on each tire. It's used to peel the snow and ice off the roads, which helps the traffic from coming to a dead stop.