FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
YUBA COUNTY – Caltrans is alerting motorists and residents that rock blasting operations are now scheduled for Wednesday on the State Highway 20 construction project in Timbuctoo.
The contractor is expected to set off the explosives sometime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Motorists can expect up to a one-hour delay following blasting operations to ensure all the explosives are discharged and rock and debris are cleared from the roadway. Caltrans advises motorists to use alternate routes to avoid delays.
Inclement weather put rock blasting preparation work behind schedule on Monday. As a result, plans for a second blast scheduled for Thursday are uncertain at this time.
Portable roadside message boards will post the latest information about the upcoming blasting schedule.
Blasting is required to remove igneous rock called Metamorphic Greenstone (Blue Diorite) from the slopes along the highway. Blue Diorite is a coarse-grained grayish rock with a composition between granite and basalt. Blasting is necessary because the rock is too hard to break up effectively with heavy equipment.
The work is part of a $54 million project to straighten curves, widen shoulders, construct a new bridge and rehabilitate a two-mile section of roadway in the Timbuctoo area. During the weekdays, motorists can expect one-way traffic control from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and possibly Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Motorists should be aware construction also is underway on an adjacent $56.1 million project on the west side of the Parks Bar Bridge over the Yuba River. Crews are conducting intermittent one-way traffic control at various locations along a 4.5-mile section of Highway 20 in the Browns Valley area. Rock blasting also is planned for this project later this spring.
Drivers should allow 20 to 40 minutes of additional travel time through these two construction areas. Weekly lane closures and construction updates are available at FixYuba20.
Weather or unexpected events may delay or prolong the work. Caltrans advises motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert.” The department will issue construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.