Caltrans District 8: Holiday Mountain-Getaway Tips For The Road

Simone Graham – Editor: The lane closures on Highway 18 are on the opposite side of the mountain from our area. But, it is good to keep the information below in mind in case you are meeting friends or family in the Inland Empire for a day trip to the snow. Better to have them come up our way and take the back way on Highway 18 through Lucerne as this is the busiest time of year for Big Bear skiers to take some of their vacation time to get on the mountain.  I was in Big Bear on Christmas Day a few years ago and reports were that the trip up the mountain was taking three hours in bumper to bumper traffic. Last, but not least, remember to pack out your trash.

Caltrans 8 San Bernardino: The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin its annual end of the year holiday moratorium on Thursday, December 20, at 6:00 a.m. through Thursday,January 3, at 6:00 p.m.

The moratorium typically means there are no planned lane closures. In the event of emergency roadwork for the safety of the traveling public, lane closures will be permitted. All approved work is weather dependent. Lane closures have been approved on State Route 18 (SR 18) between Lower Waterman Canyon and State Route 138 (SR 138) for striping on December 27 and 28 from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The striping is necessary for completion of the SR 18 paving and guardrail project and
for the safety of the motoring public.

Caltrans is offering some helpful tips to make your holiday travels safe and enjoyable:

• Never drive impaired. Designate a driver.
• Know before you go. Check Caltrans Quickmap for traffic conditions at Listen to local radio stations or television for traffic conditions on the routes you plan to travel.
• Bring chains if you are traveling to the mountain areas – it is recommended to have chains in your vehicle during winter months. Also, make sure your gas tank is full before going up the hill. For chain guidelines please go to
• Chain installers are available on most mountain routes during chain control – please use the Caltrans approved chain installers with authorized bibs – for your safety and to protect your vehicle.
• For long trips – bring water, warm clothing, blankets, a charged cell phone and charger, medications, snacks, and other necessary items.
• Do not attempt to pass through road closure signs. Never drive through running water or flooded roadways. Turn around – don’t drown!
• Be a safe and courteous driver. It only adds a few minutes to your travel time and makes it a more enjoyable drive for everyone. Caltrans wishes you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season!

Also: Here are some winter driving safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to keep in mind while on the road (also, check NHTSA on Facebook ) : NHTSA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.