EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Another boulder blocked Highway 50 near Echo Summit Wednesday morning as crews actively work to make the roadway safer for drivers.
The California Highway Patrol reported the boulder fell onto the highway just after 8 a.m., blocking both lanes.
Caltrans crews were able to clear the eastbound side of the road by moving the debris off to the westbound side. There is currently one-way traffic control in place as cleanup continues.
Highway 50 in the area of Echo Summit has recently been the site of multiple rockslides.
A massive boulder that fell onto the road in early March took hours to clear. Holes had to be drilled into the boulder and crews packed it with explosives, blasting it into smaller segments as it sat on the highway.
The next day, rocks fell onto a truck traveling down Highway 50. Everyone walked away unscathed but the vehicle was left with damage to the front driver’s side.
Crews have been rock scaling at Echo Summit to prevent more rockslides from happening. With the area seeing a wildfire and an unusually warm winter, Steve Nelson with Caltrans said that might be the reason for uncertainty.
“With above-normal temperatures during the day and freezing at night, that kind of changes the dynamics a little bit,” Nelson said. “Our geologists believe that is part of the situation that is happening there.”
Transportation officials have been warning drivers to expect major delays along a 29-mile stretch of Highway 50 in the Sierra as crews work to clean up the damage left behind by last year’s Caldor Fire.
“If you think you are going to be driving up for a weekend and think it’s going to be smooth sailing, it’s not going to be,” Nelson said.
Caltrans said they were hoping to finish up the work by the end of the month, but it is starting to look like it will go on through the summer months.