MADERA COUNTY (KFSN) --Highway 41 into the Sierras has just reopened. A rockslide shut down the Highway just north of Highway 145 in Madera County Tuesday.
A Caltrans geologist took one look at the steep walls on the rocky cut section of Highway 41 and decided a lot more rock had to come down before this roadway was safe. "We are going to address numerous other areas of both slopes that we are looking at," said Doug Cook, Caltrans geologist.
Caltrans workers scaled the rocks with ropes and loosened what they could. Later heavy equipment was brought in to get as much loose material down as possible. "We are going to try and get them removed before we open it up to the travelling public," said Adam Wimberly, Caltrans Supervising Engineer.
What's happening is water is running down the slope into the crack, loosening things up and then gravity does the rest.
The closure and detour were a hassle for drivers. "Takes me about 20 minutes extra to get through Friant and get back around," said Marvin Pack, Coarsegold.
And it was especially bad for business. A convenience store that is located between the roadblocks said they have taken a hit because of the rockslide. "It's been horrible. It's been quite a hit, the customers that we have are just local or they are Caltrans. Other than that I've had seven or eight customers all day," said Prarie Blackman.
On a normal day, they see hundreds of customers.
There's always a danger of more rock slides since more wet weather is on its way.