Boulder on Highway 243 causes commute problems for local residents

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Caltrans crews used an excavator to chip away at a massive boulder that fell onto Highway 243 near Idyllwild Tuesday. (KABC)

Caltrans crews used an excavator to chip away at a massive boulder that fell onto Highway 243 near Idyllwild Tuesday.

Until every bit of the rock and debris is removed from the highway, it'll remain closed, which has become an inconvenience for mountain drivers.

Rose Taylor lives just a few miles north of Idyllwild in Pine Cove. But because she is on the other side of the highway closure, she needs to drive down the north side of the mountain, loop around and drive back up from the south side just to get to work.

"Everybody is stuck," she said. "(It's a) two-and-a-half hour drive just to get to work when I only live 10 minutes away."

And Taylor isn't the only one having to deal with long commutes. Other residents said their commute usually takes about 30 minutes or less, but because of the closure they are now driving for an hour or more.

Caltrans is trying to break up the boulder as quickly as possible, but because of how loud it is to chip away at it, they cannot work at night.

There is a shortcut, but winds and ice only make the roads available to people who live in the area, which means it isn't a practical solution for many.

Related Topics:
road repairroad safetycaltranscommutingtrafficIdyllwildRiverside County
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