Caltrans announced that Highway 4 over Ebbetts Pass between Calaveras and Alpine Counties was open for the summer season at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The announcement follows the opening of Sonora Pass on Highway 108, which opened May 6 before Mother's Day weekend.
Caltrans typically seeks to open the Central Sierra Nevada Passes, which also includes Monitor Pass on Highway 89 by the Memorial Day weekend, which is about two weeks away.
The entire state is currently in drought due to lower-than-normal precipitation and snow accumulation, which allowed for the clearance of ice and debris, as well as the reconditioning of roads to happen quicker than normal.
The passes are monitored and regulated by Caltrans District 10.
"District 10’s top priority is safety for the traveling public. Though Monitor, Sonora and Ebbetts passes are open, motorists still should be prepared for emergencies as the weather and road conditions can change rapidly," said a press release sent out Wednesday.
According to the release, Ebbetts Pass was designated a California State Scenic Highway in 1971 and designated a National Scenic Byway in 2005. It is one of seven nationally designated byways in California, and of 151 in the entire nation.=
Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 588-4526.