The California Department of Transportation will close Highway 243 next Wednesday, July 6, to complete a rock scaling operation.
The work was identified earlier this year when on January 10, 2016, an 18 to 20 foot boulder fell onto the highway near Sunrise Drive/Overlook. It took Caltrans crews three days to break down the boulder using specialized equipment and remove it from the highway.
At that time, Caltrans Geologists investigated the slope where the rock fell from and determined that the slope was safe to reopen the roadway to traffic once the boulder was removed. Although the highway was safe to reopen to the traveling public, the geologists identified a couple areas on the slope that would require future rock scaling.
Caltrans Geologists and Rock Climbing Crews will begin a scaling operation to remove rock and debris on Wednesday, July 6, from 8 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. During the work hours it will be necessary to completely close Hwy 243 between Franklin Drive and Sunrise.
Caltrans expects to reopen the roadway by 3 p.m., however there may be issues with the scaling work which may extend the opening of the route until after 3 p.m.
Motorists will be able to utilize Hwy 243 to the Pine Cove community from Interstate 10 in Banning. People traveling to Idyllwild must use Hwy 74 (through Hemet) to Hwy 243 as a detour.
Caltrans will update information as it becomes available in regards to reopening Hwy 243. We thank everyone for their patience during the scaling operation. The continued safety of the traveling public and access to the communities along Hwy 243 is the priority.