After more than three weeks of being closed due to the Carr Fire, Highway 299 between Redding and Weaverville is set to reopen Thursday with minimal delays.
And while there were some detours to get around those closures, for many it was impractical.
“I've been making the commute around, the two and a half hour commute around,” Elizabeth Reeder said. “But that's a challenging drive. It's a long drive.”
Reeder lives in Redding and works at Mountain Communities Healthcare District in Weaverville and says she's not the only one that's struggled with the road closure.
“A lot of the nursing staff that commutes up, we've got about 25 or so direct patient care that commute up from Redding to Weaverville,” she said.
But hopefully, those troubles will be a thing of the past for Reeder and many others as the highway is expected to reopen Thursday with short delays in certain areas.
“Workers are going to be there from 6AM to 7PM,” Caltrans public information officer Lupita Franco said. “And that means that when you're driving between Redding and Weaverville, you may encounter some stops along locations where workers are going to be fixing the highway.”
Franco says even though the road will be reopened, it's important to remember there are still a lot of repairs that need to be done.
“We have quickly repaired the guard rails and some other aspects of the highway,” Franco said. “But there is still culverts. There are still signs, hundreds of signs to be placed.”
So she's asking the public to be patient and mindful as crews from Caltrans, PG&E, AT&T and others work to get things back as they were before the Carr Fire.
“The road is opened, but there might be some delays along the way,” Franco said. “We suggest people add about 30 minutes to their commute.”
Caltrans reminds drivers to slow down for road crews if traveling along Highway 299 and to keep speed at 35 miles per hour.
And CHP officers will be monitoring the highway to make sure motorists are obeying the speed limit.