BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Caltrans officials opened one lane on Highway 178 through the canyon over the weekend. This means travelers can pass through the canyon but delays should be expected.
“Yeah I travel back and forth every day but it’s great having the canyon open,” Jessica Edgar a Kern River Valley resident said.
The trip to the Lake Isabella area took about 50 minutes and that’s with the four-minute delay.
That time is much better than the two to three-hour trip commuters had to take during the canyon closure.
“I actually have a five-hour ride so adding three hours would be a little too long for me,” Devin Pinkston a New Jersey resident said.
Travelers in the area are surprised the road is open and traffic is moving so smoothly.
“It was my first time here and I was getting that we wouldn’t have the chance to pass through because I think it’s closed for a while so I’m surprised we are able to drive through,” Jan Northhousen a tourist from Germany said.
Local businesses in Kernville said they’re very grateful the canyon is back open.
“Oh gosh it’s tremendous, “Tom Moore the owner of Sierra South Mountain Sports said. “We’re tourism based especially in the summertime. So to have that main life support road being opened is just great and having a small delay is no problem at all.
According to Caltrans, the road is estimated to be fully repaired and opened in a couple of months.