Highway 168 remains closed at bottom of 4-lane in Fresno County

Brittany Jacob Image
Friday, March 3, 2023
Highway 168 remains closed at bottom of four-lane in Fresno County
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Highway 168 is currently closed and will not be open this weekend for skiers and riders heading to China Peak.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Thursday, access remained closed to Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake and China Peak Resort due to Highway 168 being shut down at the bottom of the four-lane in Fresno County.

The highway is currently closed and will not be open this weekend for skiers and riders heading to China Peak.

Officials say the roads are just not ready yet, and they will not send people up there until it's safe to do so.

The roads were narrow and very slushy-like in some areas.

Action News rode with CHP Officer John Marsh to get an idea of the conditions.

"As in as you get out of Shaver, the roadway narrows down to one lane at most points. Up past Tamarack and down in towards China Peak, you're looking at a couple feet of snow," Marsh said.

Caltrans, county road, and utility workers have been working around the clock, but there's so much snow with no place to put it.

The only solution is to take the snow out. Caltrans has contracted a snow removal company to drive the pestering powder out.

It was a ghost town in Shaver Lake as businesses and homes were buried under snow or had mountains of snow blocking the entrance.

Chase Vallejo works the front desk of Shaver Lake Village Hotel.

"We are trying our best to get it open, but it depends on road openings and how clear we can get the pathways for us to be able to even get into the cabins and hotel right now," Vallejo explained.

During that interview, the unexpected happened. Action News crews and Vallejo had a huge pile of snowmelt almost fall onto them from the roof of a nearby business.

Greg Judd has lived there for more than forty years.

"It's a good thing they're not allowing anybody up until things are right, so it'll take a couple of days," Judge said.

While many businesses are struggling because of the weather and closures, his construction company offering snow removal company has been busy.

Even the plowed roads had walls of snow.

Roads were bumpy, road signs were completely covered, and the Tamarack Sno Park was impossible to get to.

With another storm coming in this weekend, crews are already getting ready for this ever-changing situation.

Officials are simply asking for patience.

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