Every weekend, throngs of people pour into the Lake Tahoe region from the Bay Area and Sacramento. There is essentially only one roadway leading in and out of South Lake Tahoe…Highway 50. As you approach South Lake Tahoe from the west, there is a major mountain pass called Echo Summit that you crest before you descend into the marvelous mountain town. On Friday afternoons and evenings there is a very steady stream of traffic heading into South Lake. On Sunday afternoons, traffic is often backed up for miles due to the mass exodus back to the Bay. Mix a little bit of inclement weather into the equation and there is a proper mess that can cause multi-hour traffic jams.
Well, it appears the California Department of Transportation will be conducting some major bridgework on Echo Summit.
“The Echo Summit Bridge project will lead to the complete closure of U.S. 50 for multiple days.
That’s according to a project report from the California Department of Transportation that was the topic of a public hearing with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Thursday.
Starting in spring of 2019, a portion of U.S. 50 over Echo Summit Bridge will divert traffic to a single lane while the bridge is under construction.
Caltrans currently is considering a 14-day complete closure of U.S. 50 that could occur in the off-peak seasons of spring or fall in 2020″ – Tahoe Daily Tribune
Single lane traffic will cause some catastrophic traffic conditions while a 14-day closure of the roadway will make travel to the South Shore infinitely more complicated. The good news for the Bay Area folks…there is always Truckee and the North Shore.