I wanted to go up 247 north from Yucca Valley. I checked the map on Friday night and found that there was nighttime closures planned from 8 p.m. till 6 a.m. Since I had no plans to drive at night, there should be no problems, right?
When I headed north on 247 from Yucca Valley about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, there was a big flashing sign just out of town saying that the road was closed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., so of course I and hundreds of other suckers continued northbound, only to find the road totally blocked before Lucerne Valley, and a sign saying no detour available. There was no one at the barricades, only some flashing lights hundred of yards up the road!
Saturday night, the Caltrans website still showed this: “SR 247 (in the Southern California area) is closed from 12.4 miles south of the junction of State Route 18 at Stony Ridge Road to 9.8 miles south of the junction of State Route 18 (San Bernardino County) from 2000 hours each night to 0600 hours each morning Friday through Monday through 4/1/19 due to construction a detour is available.”
I am furious that I checked the maps, read and believed the signs, and still drove 80 miles out of my way. Then I had to go much further out of my way to find an alternate route. I am completely disillusioned by Caltrans’ apparent total disregard for the fuel taxpaying, traveling public.
If this was an emergency, caused by collision, fire, flood or dust storm, I understand there can be delays in getting proper information out. But this was clearly a planned, deliberate and horribly executed plan. I hope the people responsible are disciplined appropriately. This should not be happening, and Caltrans should be embarrassed.
I tried to phone anyone who would correct this situation, but conveniently, it appears that no Caltrans phones are answered on weekends. I phoned 911, I phoned Yucca PD, I phoned the Highway Patrol, I flagged down other unsuspecting RVs headed for the dead end.
I’ve worked in similar situations for 30 years, and I can tell you that within an hour of (even an unplanned emergency) closure, we would have signs in place, and flag persons to direct the public, and overhead information signs reprogrammed within minutes.
This was clearly a planned closure and Caltrans totally dropped the ball and cost hundreds of us fuel, time, missed appointments and frustration because of Caltrans’ incompetence.
This was not a short mile or two, this was 40 miles each way, and not just one misleading sign, but the website and Caltrans maps as well. Disgusting. Disgraceful.
I hope Caltrans has learned something from this and holds someone accountable!