Local News

Tuesday, Aug 20 2013 02:02 PM

Highway 178 through canyon to be closed at least until Thursday

  1. 1 of 9

    By Caltrans photo

    A cascade of boulders, rocks and mud covers parts of Highway 178 through the Kern River Canyon. Caltrans released this photo Aug. 20, 2013.

    click to expand click to collapse
  2. 2 of 9

    By Caltrans photo

    Water and mud gush across Highway 178 through the Kern River Canyon. Boulders and rocks are various sizes also block parts of the highway as shown in this photo released by Caltrans on Tuesday.

    click to expand click to collapse
  3. 3 of 9

    By Caltrans photo

    Mud and rocks must be removed from Highway 178 through the Kern River Canyon. Caltrans released this photo Tuesday.

    click to expand click to collapse
  4. 4 of 9

    By Caltrans photo

    Mud and rocks must be removed from Highway 178 through the Kern River Canyon. Caltrans released this photo Tuesday and said the canyon part of the highway will be closed at least until Thursday.

    click to expand click to collapse
  5. 5 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    A large boulder rests on the eastbound lane of Highway 178 in the canyon on Monday. Other rock slides have closed the highway until the rocks are cleared.

    click to expand click to collapse
  6. 6 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Several people wait outside their vehicles where they are stuck between two rock slides on Highway 178 in the canyon Monday afternoon.

    click to expand click to collapse
  7. 7 of 9

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    A CHP vehicle blocks the westbound lane of Highway 178 in the canyon due to rock slides on Monday.

    click to expand click to collapse
  8. 8 of 9

    By Casey Christie / TheCalifornian

    Many commuters who would normally take Highway 178 through the Kern River Canyon took alternate routes Tuesday morning including this driver and passenger who were seen driving along Caliente-Bodfish Road, south of Havilah then over the Lion's Trail from Walker Basin, where some areas were wet and muddy after Monday's storm in Kern County. Highway 178 was closed Monday evening and is still closed Tuesday due to mud and rock slides.

    click to expand click to collapse
  9. 9 of 9

    By Casey Christie / TheCalifornian

    A man and his canine passenger drive along a muddy Caliente-Bodfish Road, south of Havilah, Tuesday morning after Monday's storm in the area.

    click to expand click to collapse
By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Mudslides will keep Highway 178 through the Kern River Canyon closed until at Thursday and the key commuter route to Bakersfield may remain inaccessible through the weekend, according to Caltrans.

The size of the two mudslides, a larger one near Bodfish and the second just west of the town, may require the Army Corps of Engineers for debris removal and road repair.

Related Graphics

Calrans crews arrived on the scene for the first time Tuesday morning, about 12 hours after the slides occurred following heavy area rains.

“There is nothing of any size to require any blasting,” said District 6 Caltrans spokesman Jose Camarena.

But he said a huge volume of debris from the larger slide blocked the road. Camarena said the larger slide is 100 feet long and 14 feet high.

Heavy equipment such as front loaders and earth movers have been dispatched, and crews have placed barricades at key access points along the highway.

Highway 178 remains closed for its entirety through the canyon.

Camarena said mud and rock slides are annual occurrences along Highway 178, “but nothing like now.”

He suggested motorists use Highway 14 as an alternate route through Red Rock Canyon State Park in order to connect to Highway 58.

Get the latest traffic information at www.chp.ca.gov or call 800-GAS-ROAD.

Have something to share? Comment on this story

Bakersfield.com Daily Deal!

Triple Threat Solutions

Daily Deal

$50 for Marksmanship Training Course

Value
$85
% Off
41%
You Save
$35
2 Bought
Buy Now! See more deals