Highway 58 mudslide continues to cause headaches for drivers

FONTANA, Calif. (KABC) -- The mud cleanup underway along Highway 58 in the Inland Empire is causing a traffic domino effect across connecting roads and freeways.

That's making things especially challenging for truck drivers.

It's been five days since Highway 58 was buried beneath a layer of mud and debris, and they're still trying to clean it all up, which means truck drivers still need to find another way around.

"It's a very important truck route," truck driver Mike Mammel said. "It's our backway in, keeps us off the I-5, away from all the cars."

Mammel says for him there are two possible detours to the south.

"If I go 138 I think it's maybe half an hour or 45 minutes extra," Mammel said. "If I have to go back through L.A., take the 210 and then back up the I-5, it's double the time easily, double the fuel."

Some truckers coming in from the north had to detour around to Highway 101 down the coast, which made the drive even longer.

"That's 274 miles out of route," truck driver Arthur Greenfield said.

Greenfield said that's an additional 11 hours behind the wheel, often on freeways that are now much more congested.

"Makes it pretty tough, especially when you're going up the grades and you're kind of heavy, so it makes it kind of tough," truck driver Darren Rose said.

At the same time, while some highways are much busier because of the detour, others aren't.

Kramer Junction is seeing less traffic right now. That means while places like the Astro Burger are still open, they're certainly not very busy.

"It's been very quiet since Saturday," restaurant owner Lisa Garcia said. "Sunday is our busy day, and it's just been very, very quiet. Our business depends on traffic, so it did affect us."

Caltrans hopes to have Highway 58 back open by Thursday.
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