Caltrans allocates $3.1 million in emergency repairs for Highway 178 following recent earthquakes

Caltrans crews have started repairing damage to Highway 178 caused by the recent earthquakes that rocked the Ridgecrest area and beyond, The Sacramento Bee and Associated Press have reported.

Interim Caltrans director Bob Franzoia signed an emergency order allocating $3.1 million for needed repairs to the highway, according to a Caltrans news release.

The highway cracked in three different areas within a four-mile stretch east of Ridgecrest. While crews made temporary fixes immediately following the earthquake, the permanent repairs will take until the end of the week to finish. Motorists can expect one-way traffic control while construction lasts.

Caltrans was also called to evaluate all bridges and highways in the area, and engineers have deemed all safe.

Ridgecrest and neighboring Trona were hit hard by the magnitude 7.1 quake that rocked the remote Mojave Desert towns Friday.

Roads in Ridgecrest were in good shape, electricity was back on and the water system was working, said Jed McLaughlin, chief of police for the town of 28,000. Buses planned to run again Monday.

But many in nearby Trona, a gateway for Death Valley, didn’t have water, and crews were still patching up cracked roads in the town of fewer than 2,000 people.

Residents lined up for free water that National Guard soldiers handed out at Trona High School.

Friday’s quake sparked several house fires, shut off power, snapped gas lines, cracked buildings and flooded some homes when water lines broke. Officials were still reviewing the damage to buildings.


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