Caltrans maintenance crews are busy clearing highways, cutting through steep and narrow mountain passes, including the Sonora pass in Tuolumne County, and the Ebbetts and Monitor passes in Alpine County, with the goal of getting all passes opened soon.
Snow and ice must be shoved off the road, rocks and debris must be removed, brush has to be cut back and sometimes 300-ton boulders must be blasted before the highway is safe for public travel. These mountain passes typically close in the fall, and Caltrans begins clearing the passes in April.
Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains and vehicles should carry the correct chains, as well as blankets, water, food, a shovel, flashlights and gloves. Carry sand/kitty litter, as well, to provide traction should your vehicle become stuck.
Motorists should check road conditions on the Caltrans QuickMap at Quickmap.dot.ca.gov, calling the Caltrans Highway Information Network at (800) 427-7623 or tuning in to California Highway Advisory Radio.