KINGVALE — 24/7 is what we’re talking about.
More than 4,000 Caltrans employees have been working around the clock for quite some time now to restore the state’s transportation infrastructure. But with another round of storms on the way this weekend, workers at the Kingvale facility spent the day Thursday getting ready yet again.
“Absolutely,” said Dave Wood with Clatrans. “It’s been a very memorable winter so far, and it’s not over yet.”
So memorable in fact, that last month alone had the largest amount of recorded snowfall this area has ever seen. And with more snow on the way the next several days in the Sierra, Thursday marked the last chance Caltrans had to make sure they were ready for the weekend.
“We have flat tires to take care of, we have trucks that have to get serviced and other heavy equipment,” said Wood. “The bottom line is we are getting everything ready to roll so we can go out full-court press when it starts snowing.”
Restoring the state’s highway system has been no easy task this winter.
Severe weather conditions have caused a variety of problems, from mudslides to roadways just completely giving way. In recent days, with the break in between storms, crews have been extremely busy removing debris, repairing road damage and assessing ongoing risks.
“We have a huge effort to fight the snow and keep the roads open and safe to make sure mobility is what it should be,” explained Wood. “I do ask that people do their part by slowing down, being alert, and knowing what they’re getting themselves in to.
Every region of the state has been affected by the winter storms, and so far, there has been an estimated $400 million in storm damage to California’s highway system.
“People just need to be prepared,” said Officer Mike Netten with the California Highway Patrol. “People need to give themselves enough time to get up here, make sure their vehicles are ready, make sure you have chains to come up here … even if it doesn’t look like it’s going to rain. And obviously prepare for the unexpected. Mudslides are rampant right now, so just be prepared for the conditions up here.”
Caltrans did also say they expect chain controls in the Sierra to be on-and-off for the next five days.