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Commuter confusion: Pressing Caltrans for answers on when roads will reopen

Caltrans District 8 crews have been assessing roads and removing debris that covered Interstate 10 and a number of other streets across the Coachella Valley in the wake of Tropical Storm Hilary.

While some roads have been reopened, others remain closed after sustaining damage. However, the extent of the damage remains unknown in some areas that have yet to be reached by crews.

News Channel 3 has requested information from Caltrans District 8 on their process for making assessments to roads and a timeline for how long repairs will take before all roads reopen.

A number of street closures remain in place, along with on and off ramp entrances to Interstate 10, including the one at Bob Hope Drive and Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage. While Caltrans has not confirmed any damage to News Channel 3, our crews have confirmed the eastbound offramp at Bob Hope Drive has been washed out by storm.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Caltrans District 8 provided the following statement to News Channel 3:

Caltrans District 8 maintenance crews performed proactive preventative maintenance before Hurricane Hilary's impact. This included rock scaling to remove loose or unstable material on mountainous routes, drainage clearing and monitoring on desert routes, equipment maintenance, and crew coordination. Due to significant rainfall and winds, Interstate 10 experienced significant flooding between Palm Springs and Thousand Palms from Haugen-Lehmann Way to Bob Hope Drive on Sunday night. Crews fully closed lanes currently for the safety of drivers, to assess the roadway, and for debris removal. These efforts continued into Monday when at approximately 7 pm a lane was reopened in both directions as determined to be passable and safe. In emergency response, lane closures may be issued or lifted as needed, due to unanticipated factors including roadway condition, time for repair, and even delayed effects of severe weather.  These factors could potentially impact the safety of passing drivers. At this time, lane closures have been lifted in the westbound and eastbound direction.  

Caltrans District 8

A number of roads in cities like Desert Hot Springs are under the county's jurisdiction, and will be be repaired by Caltrans crews, although its unlnown when those repairs will take place.

Desert Hot Springs Police Department Deputy Chief Steven Shaw said he has been driving throughout the city to inspect the condition of roads in his city, and has seen significant damage, including to the Pierson Boulevard bridge.

For the latest updates on road closures across the valley click here.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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