Highway 50 and I-80 open after Caltrans clears mudslides

Caltrans reported that Highway 50 had reopened after multiple mudslides had closed the highway for days.

The highway was closed in both directions between Pollock Pines and Strawberry in El Dorado County until late Tuesday night.

The main route between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe has been closed since Friday due to mudslides. Caltrans initially said the road would reopen Sunday, but additional mudslides blocked the highway.

The first mudslide occurred near Sand Flat around 5:30 p.m. Friday, covering all four lanes of traffic, according to Caltrans.

A second mudslide between Whitehall and Kyburz occurred Saturday afternoon. Though it was smaller than the initial mudslide, crews faced more difficulty clearing it because the slope was steep, Caltrans said.

A third mudslide also occurred Saturday afternoon two miles east of Kyburz, Caltrans said. That one was about 400 feet long.

The region is drying out from last week's series of warm storms that melted snow and sent a torrent of water and debris down hillsides. A large mudslide near Baxter shut down Interstate 80 on Friday, but that freeway reopened hours later eastbound and then in both directions Saturday.

The same section of Interstate 80 suffered another mudslide on Monday that reduced traffic to one lane westbound. Interstate 80 westbound was open to all traffic Wednesday in both directions.

Hudson Sangree: 916-321-1191, @hudson_sangree