Caltrans says assessments of highway 70 occur daily, yet efforts to re-open the highway to one-way traffic control remain too hazardous for crews.
A spokesperson for Caltrans District 2 says two locations are the most active causing the delay in scaling and removal projects. The two locations of the slides are between Belden and Twain. As crews in the last few weeks have attempted to clear the debris, more material from the slope continues to fall, putting workers at risk. Caltrans adds they are lucky there have been no serious injuries thus far. Crews have been on top of the slope and at the bottom of the slides making assessments to determine if more material will fall. Due to the current conditions and weather, Geographical technicians may have to be called in from Sacramento to make further assessments.
Caltrans added that these slides are largely due to the heavy rainfall and geography of the area, with little evidence that the Dixie burn scar has had any role in the falling debris. He compared these to the slides in June of last year at Murpheys and Opapee creek, where fast-flowing mud and dead trees washed out the roadway; movement is typically seen through a burn scar.
There has yet to be a clear date of when 70 will re-open as winter weather continues to present hazardous conditions through the canyon. Yet, assessments continue daily, and the district appreciates the communities patience during this closure.