Caltrans, CHP address latest sinkhole information
Caltrans issued an update this afternoon, March 29, on the status of the sinkhole that opened up on Monday, March 27.
Highway 70 remains closed in the Beckwourth area, from County Road A-23 to County Road A-24, due to an active sinkhole. Since the closure, the sinkhole has grown in size and is approximately 8-feet wide and 6-feet deep and encompasses the full width of the westbound lane.
Detours are in place at the junction with State Route 49 and the junction with State Route 89, which will redirect traffic through Sierraville and Loyalton. Caltrans District 2 and the California Highway Patrol would like to discourage motorists from using county roads as a detour due to heavy mud and snow on those roads.
Caltrans District 2 and contractor, Hat Creek Construction and Materials, Inc., are working to make the area safe for motorists as quickly as possible to allow one-way traffic control through the area, but as of now, there is no estimated time for when one-way traffic control will be in place. The closure area is staffed 24/7.
CHP LT. Chris Parent said that Beckwourth residents are being allowed access to and from their homes as the sinkhole is east of the town. When asked if anyone is allowed through the sinkhole area, Lt. Parent said he and his officers use the detours designated, as water has undermined the roadway.
As to reports yesterday that Caltrans estimated a two-week timeframe to reopen the roadway, Lt. Parent said that he has been told that there is no estimated time of restoration. “They have to rebuild the culverts and divert the water,” he said, which could take a while particularly given the weather.