By Miriam Raftery; photo by Donnie Durfee
Rural residents are demanding answers and improved communications after a truck with an oversized load broke down and blocked traffic on State Route 94 for over 50 hours. Even after the road was cleared, the big rig remained on the shoulder at Marron Valley Road in Dulzura for two weeks before it was finally removed.
Media was not warned and no Sig Alert was issued to alert residents prior to the oversized load taking to the highway, even though the slow-moving, extra-wide load obstructed traffic in both directions along the main evacuation route for residents in areas including Jamul, Deerhorn Valley, Potrero, Barrett Junction and Tecate.
During the blockage, residents were forced to detour up to 90 miles, causing delays of many hours. Yet a SigAlert was not issued until seven hours after the road was completely blocked by the mechanical breakdown. Even before the breakdown, the oversized, slow-moving load obstructed traffic in both directions. The load was about 231 feet long – yet posted signs indicate the maximum truck length allowed is 75 feet. So why was this rig allowed to take this narrow route with many hairpin curves when straighter, wider routes to its destination were available?