Wilson Canyon work moving 1,000 cubic yards at a time

Boulders the size of houses blocking Highway 208 through Wilson Canyon. NDOT drone footage.

Boulders the size of houses blocking Highway 208 through Wilson Canyon. NDOT drone footage.

Just as there isn’t a short way to get from Gardnerville to Yerington, there won’t be any shortcut to clearing tons of debris from one of the few routes linking southern Douglas County to the Lyon County seat.

Nevada Department of Transportation started last week chipping away at the pile of rock that rolled across Highway 208 in Wilson Canyon on Jan. 10.

Crews cleared about 1,000 cubic yards of rock lying on either side of the landslide that covered 400 feet of roadway.

“Now, equipment will begin being staged for upcoming, more technical elements of rock removal,” State Transportation Spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said on Thursday. “Over coming weeks, rockfall removal experts will scale the rockface to safely remove remaining unstable rock. As the slope is stabilized, landslide and rockfall removal will also take place directly underneath the landslide area. Once the large debris area is cleared, roadway repairs will then be made.”

The state is hoping to open the road to one-way traffic in the coming weeks, but there isn’t a schedule for when that will happen.

“Alternate routes are sparse in the rural area, Ragonese said. “In the meantime, the roadway remains closed to through traffic between Hudson Aurora Road and State Route 339.”

The shortest option is traveling up Highway 395 to Highway 50 and then south via Highway 95 Alternate. The scenic route is to take Highway 395 from Topaz to Mono lakes and turn northeast on Highway 359 to Walker Lake and head north up Highway 95.

“The Lyon County Office of Emergency Management also reminds residents that Mason Pass Road is only recommended for high clearance and four-wheel drive vehicles,” Ragonese said.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment