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Caltrans Crews Working Double Time To Reopen Storm-Damaged Route 74, Highway 243

IDYLLWILD (CBSLA) — Caltrans crews are working in 12-hour shifts to clear and repair roads that were damaged by heavy rain and flooding on Valentine's Day.

Businesses in Idyllwild and other remote Inland Empire mountain communities have been hit hard after those key roadways were damaged and subsequently shut down.

Caltrans, however, has crews putting in long days to get those roads repaired and reopened. The $8 million in emergency repairs is currently happening in 12-hour shifts, but as the daylight hours get longer and weather conditions improve, Caltrans says crews will begin working 24-hour days to expedite the repairs.

"We want people to start coming up and using, coming to Idyllwild and using the businesses, coming to the events that they have here during the spring and summer," Terri Kasinga of Caltrans District 8 said.

Crews are working hard to begin allowing limited traffic on Route 74 in four to six weeks for morning and afternoon commutes. For Highway 243, Caltrans says they hope to allow access to Lake Fulmore and Idyllwild within a month.

It could be up to a year before both roads are completely repaired.

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