Fresno County, California (KFSN) — Four-lane Highway 168 has reopened.
Some of the roads in Caltrans are restricted to one-way streets, but residents are happy to see the roads open again.
Caltrans workers were flagging vehicles as pilot cars led drivers past large piles of debris from Saturday’s rockslide.
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The town of Shaverlake up the hill was quiet.
But the reopening of Route 168 is a boon to Kathy Ryling, who lives in the area.
She had to go a long way to get a job at Shaver Lake Sports.
“My 20-minute commute turned into about an hour-plus,” says Reiring.
She says the closure didn’t affect business much, thankfully.
But it’s unlike anything she’s seen since moving to the area five years ago.
“I think this is the first time I remember the two of them being back to back like this. There’s not a lot of time to recover in between,” Reiling said.
Caltrans says contractors are working around the clock to remove rocks from the road.
So far, they don’t think it’s necessary to use explosives to remove them.
“It’s a soft rock that should break with just a hammer,” said Elizabeth Yelton, spokeswoman for Caltrans District 6.
But the Caltrans scaling team will have to push the side of the hill one more time to check for loose rocks.
They hope to do it on Friday.
“We postponed the scaling operation due to the approaching weather, which is something we cannot do with the weather,” says Yelton.
For residents like Reiring, she hopes the upcoming storm will bring snow to attract tourists and not leave too much damage.
“I hope there is no more impact on the roads. I hope everyone is safe, but when it clears up, come on in. Enjoy yourself,” Railing said.
Caltrans officials said Highway 168 will remain under one-way restrictions for the time being.
They will continue to evaluate until the next storm passes.
However, even after the rock has been cleared from the ground, the crew must still evaluate the road beneath it to see if it needs repairs.
Caltrans says to always allow extra time if you drive past. Wait times can reach up to 20 minutes.
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