HWY 41 closed near Road 406 due to rockslide

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Highway 41 rockslide (KFSN)

Caltrans crews are working to clear a rockslide that has been blocking Highway 41 north of Fresno since Tuesday.

The rockslide has closed a 10 mile stretch of Highway 41 and traffic is being diverted to Road 211. The detour, which will take you around the rockslide, is about a 15 minute delay on a fairly windy road.

Caltrans crews are working to remove rock from the roadway as geologists are assessing the stability of the area.

Authorities say they hope to get the roadway clear by Wednesday afternoon in time for the evening commute.

Rock slide near 22 mile house on Highway 41

A Caltrans worker told Action News their geologists will arrive at the rockslide site for a hillside safety inspection at around 7 a.m. Wednesday. But beyond that, there's still no ETA for when the stretch of 41 will reopen.

The rockslide happened a few hours before Gary Shofstall and his wife made their way from work in Fresno to their home in Oakhurst. But they still had to deal with detours, which they're used to doing when accidents happen up here. But a rockslide, that's new for Shofstall. "Of course El Nino, all the rain all the loose, all the mud it's just loosening up the rock."

"With all this rain that we're now receiving in such a short amount of time it's definitely affecting the hillsides around us," said Sgt. Lincoln McKenna, CHP.

Crews cleared the rockslide area, but a hillside safety inspection will take place Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Highway 41 from State Route 145 to Road 200 is closed until everything's safe. That means Shofstall and his wife will have to get up for work half an hour earlier. "Everybody else is going to be doing the same thing, so, it's going to be some kind of ride."

No cars were hit by the rocks but the mess did cause one minor accident. And while the rockslide may be an inconvenience for some, most will agree--we need this rain. "There's a blessing-- everything's green, water's running in the creeks, take back and sit back and relax and take it all in, and just be grateful that nobody got hurt in the rockslide," said Shofstall.

Using the detour, it took about half an hour to get from the road closure to the Coarsegold area, and about 45 minutes to get to Oakhurst. That's about ten to fifteen minutes more than average.

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A 10 mile stretch of Highway 41 in Madera County remains closed hours after rocks came tumbling down onto the roadway.

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