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Part of State Route 330 reopened after massive storm damage

April 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A stretch of State Route 330 reopened Monday, which is great news for those hoping to take the main road to Big Bear.

It's far from being unlimited access, but the single lane that's been reopened on State Route 330 is enough to make many motorists happy.

"Life is good. The people on this mountain are fabulous and listen people, don't complain about the work taking so long because they're keeping us safe," said Running Springs resident Harmony Larson.

The main road that links mountain communities to the Inland Empire has been shut down since late December when heavy rains destroyed entire chunks of asphalt. With the 330 shut down, drivers had to rely on Highway 18 or State Route 38 to get down the mountain, in some cases doubling the commute time.

"Even being retired, it adds a half hour to an hour to go down and the traffic is so bad, and the 18 is getting so beat up from the extra traffic and trucks that it's like pothole heaven," said Running Springs resident Paul Trefethen.

Caltrans is allowing one-way commuter traffic Monday through Friday with restrictions. Down-bound traffic from Running Springs to Highland will be allowed from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., and up-bound traffic from Highland to Running Springs will be allowed from 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. In between those hours, the lane is off limits, with CHP and Caltrans strictly enforcing closures and a 15 mph speed limit.

There will be no access allowed during the weekends.

Crews have been working to repair the road all hours, night and day, seven days a week for the past three months to get the road back open again.

"We were able to rebuild, basically, the first two washouts down in the lower sections. We've got some paved road now, so that the motorists can go through there with relatively no problems," described Caltrans worker Darrin Cook. "Up-bound, it's still got a little bit of issues. We have K-rail in that area and it's kind of windy when you're going through, so we just want the motorists to be safe and keep an eye out for the contractors and the construction crews."

Caltrans hopes to have all lanes of SR 330 reopened by the end of the summer.

Construction was scheduled to continue through commute times so drivers should be cautious and expect delays.