SR-78 closure to last until Monday due to funnel repairs: Caltrans

The closure of the westbound lanes of State Route 78 near Oceanside was extended until Monday due to emergency funnel repairs following Wednesday’s storm.

Crews are working 24 hours a day to repair a faulty 50-year-old culvert that is leading to a sinkhole shutting off a busy stretch of highway, Caltrans maintenance chief Sean Rizzutto told NBC 7.

While crews work to repair the 48-inch pipe, Caltrans announced the closure will affect SR-78’s westbound lanes from College Boulevard to El Camino Real.

The closure has been extended until Monday, when Caltrans hopes to open two lanes if they cannot complete the entire project.

On Thursday, a SkyRanger 7 flew over the Northern District, where a large section of freeway is being repaired.

The agency said drivers affected by the closure will be redirected to the College Boulevard/Vista Way exit and then west on the Vista Way to the westbound SR-78 El Camino Real exit. Repair crews work around the clock to expedite repairs.

“So this job usually takes 3 to 4 weeks,” Rizzutto said. We’re going to do it in less than a week. We will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week until we open it completely.”

Funnel repairs cut off SR-78’s westbound lanes to Oceanside until Saturday.

The agency said that after crews finish excavating at a depth of 38 to 40 feet and complete the project, workers will start working on the east lanes sometime next week.

“We are concerned about people traveling and the inconvenience this creates for them, but we also need to be concerned about the safety of people traveling as well as the safety of our own employees,” Rizzutto said. “The last thing we want is for something to happen to someone because of what we’re doing at an accelerated pace.”

The troubled highway was closed in both directions for several hours on Wednesday due to an atmospheric river that brought record rainfall to the region.

Throughout the county, 2 to 3 inches of rain was recorded in some parts, and about 4 and a half inches of rain was recorded in the mountains of San Diego County.

On Wednesday, inclement weather made roads slippery, leading to dozens of accidents in the region, downed trees and floods that closed streets.

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