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Sunday, July 21, 2024
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[UPDATE: Chains No Longer Required]Mendocino County’s Morning Road Conditions: Chains Required on Ridgewood Grade, Snow and Ice Leave Some Roads Impassable

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Heavy snow fell from the sky and blanketed Highway 101 on the Willits Grade this morning around 4:00 a.m. where chain controls are now in place [Picture from Daniel Amador]

As predicted, Mendocino County’s roadways were at the mercy of Mother Nature last night and this morning leaving some of our most relied-upon roadways either closed, requiring chains, or inundated with hazards

Caltrans has put into place chain controls on the portion of Highway 101 that follows the Ridgewood Grade between Redwood Valley and Willits.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles specifies an “R-2” chain control requires, “all vehicles except four-wheel-drive vehicles under 6,500 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires on all four wheels. Chains for one set of drive wheels must be carried by four-wheel-drive vehicles using snow tires.”

Here are the major highways that are closed this morning: State Route 128 from Robinson Creek to the Sonoma County line State Route 253 from Boonville to Robinson Creek Bridge Highway 1 from

Here are the major highways that are closed this morning:

  • State Route 128 from Robinson Creek to the Sonoma County line
  • State Route 253 from Boonville to Robinson Creek Bridge
  • Highway 1 from just north of Rockport to Leggett
  • Branscomb Road from State Route 1 to Laytonville

The following county roads remain closed, as per the Mendocino County Department of Transporation:

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  • Mina Rd
  • Poonkinny Rd
  • Bell Springs Rd
  • Spy Rock Rd.

Highway 101 north of Willits remains open this morning as of 5:30 but there are reports of vehicles sliding off the roadway and 2″ of snow falling. The Willits Bypass is reportedly covered with a rime of snow and ice.

The status of Sherwood Road is unknown at this point. The roadway is primarily used for Brooktrails residents west of Willits and often closes due to hazardous winter conditions.

Commuters navigating State Route 20 between Fort Bragg and Willits should keep their eyes peeled around mile marker 20 for a rock slide.

Late last night State Route 175 between Hopland and Lakeport was closed due to snow but crews worked through the night and it is open.

For the latest information about road conditions, check out the Caltrans Quickmap which provides a real-time, interactive map of road conditions.

As you consider today’s commute, please remember some of these simple principles of driving safely in winter weather from the California Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • Allow enough time.
  • Keep windshield and windows clear. 
  • Slow down.
  • Be more observant.
  • When stalled, stay with your vehicle and try to conserve fuel while maintaining warmth. 
  • Give snowplows room to work. 

UPDATE 7:76 a.m.: Scanner traffic indicates CHP nor Caltrans are enforcing the chain controls and have declared Highway 101 on the Ridgewood Grade is “fully open”.


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1 COMMENT

  1. In 1989, scientists in California predicted that it would no longer snow by the 2000 year due to global warming. Last summer, a man became angry when I went against scientists and predicted that cool, rainy weather would return to California.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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