Caltrans hopes to reopen Highway 70 on Sunday | News

Caltrans District 3 took Action News Now to the site of the rockslide and provided updates on cleanup efforts and when the road could reopen with one-way traffic.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – Caltrans District 3 sent Action News Now to the site of the Highway 70 rockslide and provided updates on cleanup efforts and when the road may reopen with one-way traffic .

Over the weekend, some storms caused another rockslide, adding to the damage along Highway 70 from Jarbo Gap to Greenville Wye.

“These rocks are sometimes as big as pickup trucks, so we want to do it as safely as possible for our crews here,” said Megan Reece, Caltrans District 3 public information officer.

So instead of reopening Highway 70 on Monday, Mother Nature had other plans.

“The vegetation just can’t hold the gravel,” Reece said.

“The water just washes away. There’s no vegetation to hold the rocks back,” Reece said.

When a slide occurs, it’s not just about clearing the rocks; they also have to repave the road in many cases. All this damage comes from the March 7 landslide which closed Highway 70 for two months now.

The continued closures are not only difficult for drivers, but also for the few restaurants along Highway 70 like Toni’s.

“It’s a bit hit and miss when it comes to the road. A lot of workers come and support, so it’s a lot of help, but most of the time they see the light and turn around immediately,” co-owner of Toni,” Ashlee Suzor said.

“On Sunday we actually have a Mother’s Day event, and a lot of people want to come through Quincy and see their family, and even go through Belden and see Sandy Beach and enjoy the sun. So I’m hoping, yeah, Sunday , that it’s open,” Suzor said.

One way Caltrans is trying to reopen the road is by bringing in contractors like Neil’s Controlled Blast to help secure rocks that are in danger of falling.

They have a red principle across the canyon that tracks any movement of the rocks to the side before they fall. A Caltrans engineer tells Action News Now he understands the community’s frustration with the time it takes to clean each slide.

“That’s the bottom line; we need to make sure it’s safe,” said Caltrans resident engineer Dan Rechs.

But it takes a lot of time, money and resources.

“As you can see, there is no K-rail to keep vehicles on the stretch of road, so if someone had an accident they could end up in the river, and that’s just unfortunate, but safety is the main concern,” says Rechs.

Caltrans says it hopes this section of Highway 70 will be reopened Sunday morning. If this happens, you’ll find a one-way traffic control just outside Toni’s Restaurant, and just a little further down the road you’ll find this stop light. This section will also last about a mile before the roadway reopens to two lanes.

Caltrans says that even with the slide activity, it is still on track to complete the Pulga project by November, which is along the same stretch of Highway 70.

The project will help extend shoulders on the road and protect against future flooding.

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