Caltrans Eyeing October Reopening of State Route 190

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Caltrans Aiming to Reopen State Route 190 by the End of October
First Section of Highway to Reopen by October 12

Image: Picture of State Route 190 east of the SR 136 junction on September 14.

INYO COUNTY — Caltrans is anticipating it will reopen State Route 190 from its current set of closures in two phases beginning on October 12. The highway was closed following two late-summer storms on September 10 and September 13 that washed away sections of the highway, first on the western side of Towne Pass in Death Valley National Park, and then between the towns of Olancha and Darwin.

Emergency work to reopen the highway began on September 19. Caltrans has contracted the repairs to Fisher Sand and Gravel Company, which has been working seven days a week since emergency work began. Currently, the plan is to reopen State Route 190 in two phases.

The first phase covers between Dirty Socks Spring, which is approximately five miles east of Olancha, and Darwin Road. That section of the highway is anticipated to reopen by October 12. The second phase will focus on the highway over Towne Pass, which is tentatively scheduled to open to the public by October 31. Caltrans may implement traffic control measures over this section of State Route 190 following its reopening to accommodate any further highway repair work that’s required.

“We want to thank the team at Fisher Sand and Gravel Company for their swift and rigorous response to this urgent matter,” said Caltrans District 9 Director Ryan Dermody. “Because of their efforts, great progress is being made to fully reopen this highway. In order for the highway to reopen as quickly as possible, we need the public to respect the closures that are currently in place on State Route 190. With the repair work currently underway, the highway is effectively a construction zone. So for the safety of the public, our Caltrans crew members, and the contractors working to reopen the highway, we ask that drivers do not attempt to bypass the closure points on the highway.”

The current closures on State Route 190 are as follows:

  • Dirty Socks Spring to Darwin Road
  • Panamint Valley Road to Emigrant Junction

Access to Death Valley National Park is available using the eastern entrance on State Route 190 from Death Valley Junction. State Route 178/Jubilee Pass Road from Shoshone, which connects to Badwater Road inside the park, is still closed due to storm damage that occurred on August 5.

For details on the conditions of DVNP roads, including Badwater Road and Scotty’s Castle Road, please visit

For those with sensory disabilities requiring alternate formats (i.e. Braille, large print, sign language interpreter, etc.) and those needing information in a language other than English, please contact Bob Gossman at (760) 881-7145 or TTY 711.

Detour Map Created by Caltrans District 9 GIS

(From Caltrans)

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