Caltrans is alerting motorists to expect intermittent one-way traffic control on several Sierra highways through March for emergency tree removal operations.

After record-breaking winter storms in December coupled with high mountain winds, numerous trees throughout the Sierra have fallen on state highways or are at risk of falling due to heavy snow, saturated ground and continued high wind gusts. Caltrans has initiated a $3 million emergency tree removal contract with Tyrrell Resources, Inc. of Truckee to assist with tree removal operations and cleanup.

Motorists should anticipate intermittent one-way traffic control on the following highways. Most tree removal work will occur during daytime hours unless otherwise noted.

  • State Route 20 between Grass Valley and the Interstate 80 separation
  • State Route 49 between La Barr Meadows Road and McKnight Way in Grass Valley
    • Tree removal work is scheduled overnight from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5 through Friday, Jan. 7
  • State Route 49 between Nevada City and the State Route 89 separation in Sierra County
  • State Route 174 between the State Route 20 separation and Greenhorn Access Road
  • State Route 193 between Cool and Placerville in El Dorado County

Caltrans maintenance crews responded quickly to numerous downed trees in the immediate aftermath of the record-breaking storm to reopen highways to traffic. The emergency tree removal contract will further enable crews to focus on continued snow removal operations and highway maintenance activities.

District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. Check out Caltrans’ “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the free QuickMap app on the App Store or Google Play. Motorists also can call the California Highway Information Network automated phone service at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).