Kingsbury Grade, a winding mountain road that is a key link for people driving to the south shore of Lake Tahoe from the Carson Valley, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada, was closed Wednesday due to concerns about possible rock slides.
The state Department of Transportation hopes to award an emergency contract by Friday and have the slide hazard removed and the highway, State Route 207, reopened in time for the Fourth of July weekend.
Agency spokesman Scott Magruder says agency staffers started monitoring an area, about seven miles up from the floor of the Carson Valley, after getting reports of loose rocks, and noticed a foot-wide crack that formed in only a day or two in a rock formation above the road.
People driving to and from the lake on the road now must take alternate routes that will add half an hour to 45 minutes to what's normally a 20-minute drive. The closest alternate roads are U-S 50 to the north and State Routes 88 and 89 to the south.