Two lanes of Highway 50 near Cave Rock reopen
February 14, 2017
Highway 50 north of Cave Rock has reopened to one lane of traffic in each direction after monolithic-size boulders fell onto the roadway, closing it for a week.
Throughout last week, boulders larger than passenger vehicles fell from a roadside slope onto eastbound travel lanes, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation. No vehicles were involved in the slides, and no injuries were reported. The rockfall occurred near Logan Creek Drive north of Cave Rock.
NDOT and contractor Sierra Nevada Construction have reduced travel lanes to one lane in each direction, with both directions of traffic shifted to westbound lanes away from the rockfall area. Travel speeds are reduced to 35 mph. The traffic shifts are anticipated to be semi-permanent until a full-scale improvement project to stabilize and reinforce the roadside slope where the slides occurred is constructed. Additional storms may also impact the ability to keep the roadway open.
To further enhance traffic safety, crews placed two rows of concrete barrier rail on the closed eastbound side of the roadway to help reduce chances of additional boulders sliding into traffic. Gravel has been placed behind the barrier rail to further diffuse and help prevent rockfall onto travel lanes.
NDOT has dedicated approximately $15 million to enhancing traffic safety by stabilizing roadside slopes to reduce rockslide and other erosion in U.S. 50 at Tahoe. The majority of U.S. 50 roadside slopes in the Glenbrook area have already been stabilized with rockfall netting or reinforced roadside slopes or have barrier rail/wall built at the bottom to contain and collect erosion-related rockfall.