ECHO SUMMIT (CBS SF) — Travelers heading to South Lake Tahoe during the next two weeks should prepare for detours as Caltrans shuts down Highway 50 through Echo Summit in both directions for bridge work until October 2.

The highway closure commenced Friday at 3 a.m. According to the Caltrans District 3 website, the closure is required to install seven 96-foot bridge girders and associated work.

Highway 50 construction (Caltrans District 3)

There was already a five-day period of one-way traffic control through the area that started on Sunday, Sept. 13 to demolish the existing bridge before installing the girders. While the full closure of Highway 50 is expected to conclude on Friday, Oct. 2, officials noted that weather or other unexpected delays may prolong the closure.

Drivers headed north from the Bay Area through Sacramento will need to get off Highway 50 at Highway 49 (also known as Missouri Flat Road) in Placerville before traveling through Amador County onto Highway 88 and then eventually via Highway 89 into South Lake Tahoe.

The detour is expected to add about 45 minutes to the drive time.

Caltrans has set up the Way2Tahoe.com website to provide interested parties with additional information, other alternate routes to South Lake Tahoe and daily construction updates.

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