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Will mountain passes open early?

Dick Hall, an equipment operator for Caltrans removes snow from Highway 108 with a blower 4 miles from the top of Sonora Pass. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Caltrans and the National Park Service road-maintenance crews are preparing to clear highways leading over closed Central Sierra mountain passes — what will likely be another early spring for pass openings.

Caltrans spokeswoman Angela DaPrato said the state highway department’s maintenance crews started clearing Ebbetts and Sonora passes, in Alpine and Tuolumne counties, last week.

Yosemite National Park spokesman David Miyako said that Park Service road crews will begin working to clear Tioga Road from Glacier Point starting April 15.

Neither agency could say when the passes would open, though it likely will be earlier than normal because of historically low snowfall last winter.

The passes typically reopen around mid-May to early-June, depending on the weather. Sonora and Ebbetts passes opened April 24 and 25 last year, while Tioga Pass opened May 11.


For the complete story, see the April 8, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.   

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