Factors Behind Mount Rose Highway Closure - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Factors Behind Mount Rose Highway Closure

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Mount Rose Highway (SR-431) was closed Monday night due to weather but remained closed most of Tuesday because of other factors.

The Nevada Department of Transportation closed the road Monday around 7 p.m. Due to low visibility and abandoned vehicles. The road reopened Tuesday around 3:30 p.m.

Mountain rain helped turn the ice and slush on the roads to water. While that helped clear the roads, cars were still turned.

NDOT was behind on avalanche control because two large snow blowers were out of commission. Emergency maintenance got one up and running by Tuesday morning and the second later Tuesday afternoon.

Mother Nature is just one side of the problems facing crews this winter. The other is a shortage of workers. NDOT says the problem has been building for a couple of years now.

"With the economy picking up, potential candidates to plow snow on Mt. Rose are seeking better paying jobs," says Thor Dyson, District Engineer with NDOT, "and I understand that. So we're struggling to fill positions."

The crews they do have are working overtime to keep the roads safe and clear. Even working 12-16 shifts without days between shifts.

"We're doing everything we can," says Dyson, "a lot of these individuals on Mt. Rose Highway haven't had a day off in 3-4 weeks. They're very tired."

The best advice for drivers is to check road conditions before you leave, especially if you're driving in the higher elevations. Most importantly have plenty of patience as you're traveling.

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