Saturday, February 23, 2008

CalTrans Live Cameras

I had questions about the locations of the cameras that CalTrans has up on I80 in the mountains. Most of the locations of the cameras in their list are fairly easy to find on google maps, since they are in or near towns that are easily looked up on a map. One of the cameras gave me a problem, though. The Whitmore Grade camera. I asked a couple people and got a general description of where the camera is. I used the Google Earth program and zoomed in on I80 as it climbed up into the pass and I think I've got it placemarked now.

As you drive East up I80, once you get past the town of Alta, the highway splits for a distance. Eastbound and Westbound lanes are a distance apart, and in the middle you see a group of buildings. Those are the dorms and barns for the snow removal and maintenance equipment for CalTrans. (Or so I've been told!) I was told that the Whitmore Grade is there. Oh, and as far as I can tell, it's in Placer County. If I'm wrong, I'd appreciate it if someone could correct me! lol

Update! I've uploaded a different map showing where I think the camera is for the Whitmore Grade. One of these days I'll have to take a drive up in the pass and see if I can spot the location. When the weather improves, that is.

This is the view from the Whitmore Grade camera this morning. The road looks pretty good today, compared to yesterday. But we're supposed to have a pretty bad storm coming in this weekend, so conditions will change. For the worst. This is one of the cameras that I regularly check when my trucker friend calls for a road condition report.

One of the other cameras that I normally check when he calls is the one at Kingvale. This morning's view from the camera looks a little nasty because of the snow and ice on the camera itself. When the snow is falling, the position of the camera makes it kind of hard to see the road because the snow and ice packs up on the lens or whatever is in front of the camera. Lots of snow up there this morning, but the road looks clear. The camera is looking towards the West, and the Westbound lanes are up above the Eastbound lanes.

The third camera that I check most often is the one at the truck scales just East of Truckee, Ca. It looks towards the East at the access ramp going into the scales, but you can see the Westbound lanes as well. I've actually spotted my friend's truck passing by this camera a few times as he heads towards Reno.

We're supposed to be having a doozy of a storm coming in this weekend. High winds, rain and snow in the mountains. I'll have to check back in and do some more screen shots when the storm hits.

CalTrans has a lot of cameras in their list. Just go to Caltrans Live Traffic Cameras, scroll down the page, pick a highway and then pick a camera. Have fun!

This is the original map I had above for the location of the Whitmore Grade camera. I had the marker on the wrong side of the highway. As I said in the update above, maybe later this spring or early summer I'll take a drive up in the pass and see if I can spot the cameras and get them marked on a map properly.. lol


Steven said...

Nice pictures! I tried all of the cameras early this morning, (5:30) and they were all working; a first! But I don't remember the sign being in the way of the view at Truckee scales? Something moved? And since we used to live in Janesville, I use the 'still cameras' to see how the weather is on Fredonyer Pass and out in Doyle.

Anakerie said...

I'm not sure if anything has been moved up at the Truckee Scale. That sign or the support has been there a while, I think. Who knows? I just looked at some of the still shots for Janesville and Doyle. It looks like it's probably pretty cold up there. I just checked the other cams on I80 too, and the snow is falling pretty good on a couple of them. Especially the Kingvale one.

Graham said...

Hi from over the pond. I think your Whitmore Grade placement is on the wrong carriageway. The camera is currently looking EAST at the Westbound side. This was the only one I had difficulty with.

The Truckee Scales camera was recently pointed in the new direction. Before it looked across the I80 rather than down the access road.

Enjoy watching the big rigs over here in the UK. Also use the ODOT still cameras as I have an ex-pat friend living in Drain, OR.

Anakerie said...

Thank you, Graham! I'll see about changing the map location for that camera. And I do remember the old camera view at the scales. They keep changing things up there. Like the Floriston camera, a couple weeks ago, it was pointed at the offramps, now its showing the curve in the highway. Who knows what they'll change next! lol

Anakerie said...

Oops.. Forgot to add, I watch a few of the ODOT cameras too. I have family living up there, so I snoop a bit to see what the weather is like.. lol

Jacquie said...

Thanks so much for clarifying why the Whitmore Grade camera only shows WB traffic.. that was a bit confusing. I'm trying to head up to Tahoe today mid afternoon but, I can't seem to see any pictures of EB traffic on I-80 at the Whitmore Grade location. Does Caltrans have a camera that reflects the flow of traffic at this location for the EB lanes? Thanks!

Anakerie said...

The last time I went up through there, I tried to spot a camera on the Eastbound side of that area and didn't spot one. If Caltrans does have a camera on that side of the Grade, they're not publicizing it.

I was just looking at the available cams up there and from what can be seen, it's looking pretty nasty over the pass. Be careful and be prepared!