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Snow closes Sonora Pass

Due to winter conditions, Sonora Pass is closed — at least for now.

Ken Weeks, supervisor for the Long Barn Maintenance Station, was one of the Caltrans workers who closed the 9,624-foot pass at 2:30 a.m. yesterday.

Closing the pass involves shutting and locking gates, changing road signs and notifying traffic dispatchers.

"It's really cold up there — winter conditions up above 8,000 feet," he said this morning. "It's not a place where you would want to be driving."

Ebbetts Pass over Highway 4 remains open, although crews almost closed it after Monday night's high-country storm, said Steve Smith, acting Caltrans superintendent for Highways 4, 108 and 120.

After closing yesterday morning due to snow, Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park has reopened.

"They got a lot of snow," Smith said of Sonora Pass. "It's just so icy and steep up there, we can't afford to keep it open."

However, Smith said the closure may only be temporary.

"If we keep having storms, then it will stay closed," he said. "If the weather clears, it could reopen."

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