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Potholes continue to plague SR-71 in Pomona

Crews to permanently fix lingering potholes on SR-71 this weekend
Crews to permanently fix lingering potholes on SR-71 this weekend 02:24

Lately, the SR-71 in Pomona has resembled a maze rather than an open road as potholes continue to pop up all over the freeway after a series of storms.

The California Department of Transportation has tried to fix this ongoing problem in the past, patching up potholes in February. However, the temporary fixes hardly lasted as crews were back on the freeway Wednesday morning patching up more craters as authorities closed both sides of SR-71 during rush hour. 

"Potholes will happen and our Caltrans crews will be out there to fill up to a certain point," said spokesperson Peter Jones. 

Jones attributed the plague of potholes to the heavy rain mixed with the number of heavy trucks and the volume of cars passing through the thoroughfare daily. 

However, the core of the persisting problem lies with the ownership of the freeway. While Caltrans owns SR-71, it only has jurisdiction over part of it. The rest is controlled by the U.S. division of a Madrid-based construction company, Obrascón Huarte Lain, S.A. or OHLA. 

Caltrans ceded control over part of the freeway to OHLA for an $86 million project to upgrade about two miles of SR-71 to convert it from an expressway to a full highway. 

This split custody only allows Caltrans to fill some potholes "to a certain point" and leaving the rest to the contractor. This weekend OHLA plans to implement a full fix to the constant issue. 

However, the construction will close the entire northbound section of SR-71 on Friday at 10 p.m. to Saturday at 9 a.m. The contractor will close the northbound lanes again on Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The southbound lanes will close on Saturday from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday, then again on Monday from 10 p.m. to Tuesday 6 a.m.

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