Update: Westbound I-80 reopens after mudslide near state line

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2013 - 8:45 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jul. 3, 2013 - 10:53 am

Caltrans crews are monitoring a hillside where a mudslide on Tuesday blocked Interstate 80 in the Sierra.

All lanes of Interstate 80 just west of the state line re-opened by 10:35 p.m. Tuesday after a slide triggered by severe thunderstorms closed the freeway in both directions.

The highway was closed after mud and debris from the hillside rolled down onto I-80 about 4:30 p.m.

The mudslide covered a football field-sized area of the westbound and eastbound lanes with 3 to 8 inches of mud and debris, a state Department of Transportation news release states.

Eastbound traffic was fully reopened by 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Caltrans spokeswoman Rochelle Jenkins said that a geologist examined the hillside and determined it was stable. With heavy downpours forecast for the area today and Thursday, Jenkins said, Caltrans wants to be sure the hillside remains stable.

"A monitoring crew is on the scene watching for any signs of trouble," said Jenkins. "In the event of trouble, we will shut the highway down again for safety."

Signs of trouble include small slides.

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