Caltrans has provided some status information on the repairs and work on Highways 74 and 243. “Additional damage and erosion continue weekly to slopes, culverts and the pavement on both routes,” Friday’s press release said.
Work on Highway 74 may require at lease another two months. The storm events in May have reduced the time available to accomplish repair. And Caltrans emphasized that the two month estimate is very much dependent on good weather in June and July.
The future opening of Hwy 243 is unknown at this point. Not only has the weather delayed work but it has negatively affected work that has already been done.
Some of the repair of the washout at Bay Tree Spring has been washout itself. This work will have to be redone. Also the Spring has begun flowing again over the work area and has to be rediverted. The heavy fog has slowed the transport of materials to the site also.
While Hwy. 243 remains closed to all traffic between Idyllwild and Banning, Hwy. 74 is open this weekend from 6 a.m. to midnight with an escort vehicle guiding traffic between Mountain Center and Valle Vista.
On Tuesday, the normal open hours of 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight will return.