Rock Blasting Set for Thursday on Highway 20 in Yuba County


California State Route 20

District:  District 3 - Marysville
Contact:  Gilbert Mohtes-Chan
Phone:  (530) 741-4571; (530) 682-6145


YUBA COUNTY — The next rock blasting operation for the State Highway 20 Browns Valley construction project is scheduled for Thursday, July 16.

The blasting is planned to occur sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. near Stacey Ann Drive, west of the Parks Bar Bridge over the Yuba River. After the blast, motorists may expect up to a 30-minute delay to ensure all explosives have been discharged and the roadway is safe for travel. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes to avoid delays.

Portable roadside message boards will post the latest information on the day of the blasting operation.

Thursday’s blast will be the fourth in a series of summertime rock blasting operations planned for the $61.5 million Browns Valley construction project.

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.

Caltrans reminds motorists to expect intermittent one-way traffic control at various times and locations along a 4.5-mile section of Highway 20 between Marysville Road and the Yuba River over the next two years.

Motorists also should be aware construction is underway on an adjacent $54 million project to straighten curves, widen shoulders, construct a new bridge and rehabilitate a two-mile section of roadway in the Timbuctoo area east of the Yuba River. During the weekdays, motorists may expect one-way traffic control from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and possibly Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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.