Landslide temporarily closes HWY 168

FRESNO, Calif.

Caltrans crews had to put up road closed signs up at Lodge and HWY 168 turning several drivers away Saturday.

The landslide started late Friday night and continued to progress through Saturday morning. Caltrans crews say they were ready for it and once the road gave way they started the clean up process immediately.

"There was no one around, we had traffic controlled, with the assistance of CHP we were stopping traffic so the rock slide could advance," Carlos Lomeli said.

Heavy duty front loaders were used to place cement barriers along the side of the road. Caltrans says this steep mountain side is prone to landslides which has been made worse with all of the rain and snow that has fallen this season, especially in the last week.

"The ground is just kind of saturated and the area that slid is known to have minor slides, but nothing this big in a while."

Despite the road closure many skiers and snowboarders were able to find ways around to head up to China Peak to enjoy the fresh powder.

China Peak says about 2,000 people made it up there Saturday but more rain and snow showers are expected in the area so even though the road is back open, you'll still need to bring chains with you, if you're heading up into the mountains.

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