Crews race to clear roads in Fresno County before next storm

Road closures continue along mountain roads as eroded hillsides pose a hazard for drivers.

Saturday, March 25, 2023
Crews race to clear roads in Fresno County before next storm
Road closures continue along mountain roads as eroded hillsides pose a hazard for drivers.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- We are catching another break from the rain but is it enough time for crews to repair roads before the next storm system arrives.

Road closures continue along mountain roads as eroded hillsides pose a hazard for drivers, one ongoing problem area is Highway 168

"On the 168 stretch specifically, the one we have had for a while is a stretch of 168 where part of the road has broken away, that is located between Stevenson Creek dam and the marina," said Elizabeth Yelton, Public Information Officer with Caltrans District 6.

With the combination of snowmelt and heavy rainfall, crews have been waiting for a break in the weather to get an upper hand on repairs, but new problem areas keep arising.

"This new area was between the top of Cressman, or top of the four lanes, so closer to Cressman and between the community of Shaver Lake," explained Yelton.

The areas that are heavily affected are burn scars from the recent Creek Fire, and with a change in topography, officials are discovering new paths of waterflow.

"We're finding that water doesn't flow in the same location that it used to, so we're making those adjustments and making temporary repairs in the meantime," said Yelton.

When it comes to a permanent fix, Caltrans tells Action News that they are working on an emergency contract to find those solutions.

"When it comes to the slippage that is over near the Stevenson Creek dam and the marina, we have what they call a viaduct project that is coming in, but that is a few years out, but that is a permanent solution that will help with that area specifically."

Crews are doing their best trying to remove trees, rocks, and debris from the eroded land off the roadway, now the goal is to try to have all lanes open by the end of the month.