Portion of Highway 59 closes due to flooding, road deterioration

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A portion of a state highway between Merced and Los Banos has closed again because of flooding.

Several miles of Highway 59 is blocked off because recent rains caused water from Mariposa Creek to spill over the road.

It's causing drivers to take a long way around, and it's also impacting a nearby business trying to open its doors.

"We were supposed to open a month ago, but with the road closure, we've had some issues," said Central Irrigation owner Doug Brunner.

Brunner calls his third location a one-stop shop for agriculture and is planning to have a grand opening at the Highway 59 location on Thursday.

He's now worried people won't stop by if the road is still closed.

"We're excited about it, but with the road closure, we're a little concerned people are like 'how are we going to get there,'" Brunner said.

There's water from the creek against the bridge wall and running along the roadway, making it unsafe for drivers.

Caltrans officials say crews are hoping to have it open by the end of the week, but it's going to depend on both weather and when water levels near the bridge drop.

"As far as we are able to tell, there's no structural damage, but we do need the water to go down first so they can get a better inspection," said Public Information Officer Chanel Vernon.

Scott Roduner is along the detour, pumping out water from his field to protect his crops.

While he's noticed creek water levels dropping, he's also noticed more aggressive drivers along Gurr Road.

"We're doing the speed limit, and people aren't really appreciating that. Coming up behind us and flipping us off. There's some road deterioration going on. It's just something you have to deal with," said Roduner.

As water keeps flowing, all crews can do is wait, but Brunner says he wants the problem fixed to keep it from happening every year.

"I think its more of a Caltrans issue, that we can fix this problem. Heck, I have excavators, I'll help them out no problem with that," Doug Brunner said.

Caltrans officials say there are reviewing options to prevent flooding along the bridge but don't have any concrete resolutions at this time.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.