The Cranston Fire burned up to and across both Highways 74 and 243.

Currently Hwy 243 from Idyllwild to Mountain Center is closed to through traffic. The only access to Idyllwild is Hwy 2443 from Banning.

The damage to Hwy 74 is more extensive. According to Terri Kasinga, Chief, Public and Media Affairs for Caltrans District 8, Hwy 74 west to Hemet will remained closed, at least until the the weekend, and maybe longer depending upon the damage assessment.

“Caltrans began work this weekend with a Director’s Order (Emergency Contract) with Ames Construction, who began making repairs to burnt guardrail, signs, delineation, slopes and culverts,” she wrote in a press release. “The contractor is working 24/7 to complete the work. The cost of the Director’s Order is currently $5 million. The cost is expected to increase due to the extent of the damages.

Cal Trans crews repairing guard rails along the Highways 74 and 243. Other work remains.

“Once the routes reopen, the repairs will continue with Ames Construction crews providing traffic control (flagging or pilot car) for approximately two months,” Kasinga advised.

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