Weekend storm locks up Calif. highways, blocks Sierra access

A walloping winter storm delivered gridlock and road closures throughout the Golden State.

The weekend storm front making landfall across the Golden State delivered the unusual visage of snow in beach towns and coastal communities. 

However, it managed to lock-up a major artery of the state nearly the entire weekend in the process along with key connection points to the Sierra.


Driving the news: Significant snowfall in high elevations in the Southland didn’t spare the Grapevine, the main connector between Los Angeles and the rest of the state. 

  • Following a brief period of vehicle escorts to clear Interstate 5 through the Ridge Route, CHP’s Fort Tejon unit announced a first round of closures Friday afternoon amid snowfall. 
  • Since then, the Grapevine remained closed due to a combination of heavy snow and icy road conditions making it unsafe to drive.
  • Saturday evening, CHP officials pegged a possible reopening of the highway on Sunday morning. Those plans, however, were quickly abandoned as icy conditions persisted.
  • Sunday afternoon, CHP officials reopened the highway both north and southbound with traffic control escorts.
  • The best alternative route into Southern California, courtesy of Highway 58 through Tehachapi, was blocked for much of the weekend. It reopened Sunday afternoon to traffic both east and westbound.

Sierra shutdown: Yosemite National Park closed on Saturday through Wednesday, March 1, the National Park Service announced.

  • Highway 168 remained closed at the bottom of the Four Lane near Tollhouse late Sunady, blocking access to Shaver Lake.
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