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Wednesday, March 20 , 2019, 9:36 am | Partly Cloudy 56º


Caltrans Targeting Mid-March to Reopen Highway 154 Near Lake Cachuma

After clearing blocked culvert, crews are reconstructing embankment and damaged roadway

Contractors working for Caltrans are reconstructing an embankment and repairing the damaged roadway on Highway 154.
Contractors working for Caltrans are reconstructing an embankment and repairing the damaged roadway on Highway 154. Caltrans says it will be about a month before Highway 154 is reopened to through traffic. (Caltrans photo)

It will be about another month before Highway 154 is reopened to through traffic near Lake Cachuma, Caltrans announced on Friday.

The roadway was shut down Feb. 2 after heavy rains spawned a debris flow from the Whittier Fire burn area that clogged a culvert under the highway east of the entrance to the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area.

A large pond formed on the uphill side of the highway, and crews spent days clearing debris and pumping out the water in order to get to the clogged culvert.

“Caltrans has announced that Highway 154 between the entrance to Cachuma Lake and the entrance to Live Oak will re-open in mid-March, weather permitting,” said Jim Shivers, a Caltrans District 5 spokesman.

“Caltrans has cleared the blocked culvert and is now reconstructing the foundation, repairing the embankment and excavating a portion of the damaged highway before it can be re-opened.”

Highway 154 is shut down at Live Oak Camp on the east and the entrance to the lake recreation area on the west.

The contractor for the $2.2 million repair project is CalPortland Construction of Santa Maria.

When the highway re-opens, motorists may encounter one-way reversing traffic control so that Caltrans can perform additional work at this location, Shivers said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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