Highway 269 now open after being shut down due to flooding

HURON, Calif. (KFSN) -- Highway 269 is now open after several days of flooding forced authorities to shut down the highway.

More rain means yet another road closure for a notorious stretch of highway in Fresno County.

Flooding over Highway 269, between Highway 198 and Huron, forced officials to close the main arterial road for the small Fresno County farming city.

But people here aren't surprised.

The closures happen every year, impacting the flow of business and commutes of its residents, who must find alternative routes.

But a $30 million dollar project funded largely by the state looks to solve this decades-old problem.

The State Route 269 Bridge Project will include a bridge over the Arroyo Pasajero Creek, as well as two other bridges in the area.

Crews will also increase the elevation of the roadway and widen and deepen the creek channel-that work has already started, with construction of the bridges to come later this year.

Caltrans says the project will create a safe and reliable corridor for drivers.

We spoke to Huron Mayor Rey Leon about some of the other benefits the project will bring.

"It's going to be good for clean air, it's going to be good for the economy, it's going to be good for the community, and it's definitely going to be good to prevent the loss of life again," said Mayor Rey Leon.

In March of 1995, seven people, most of them from Huron, died when crossing a different bridge over the creek, a detour for Highway 269.

Leon says the victims would still be here today if a bridge had been in place on 269.

This year's wet weather hasn't been deadly.

But it has hindered construction on the bridge project-crews can't make progress during heavy rains.

That's something Leon doesn't worry about, because above all, he knows a solution is on the horizon.

"At least now we can say that the ground has been broken, it's going to happen, now it's about a matter of time. These days that it shuts down whether it's one, three, ten, will be the last days that it will be shut down from now on," Mayor Leon.
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