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Rain delays SR-78 construction, causes on-ramp flooding

By Perla Shaheen,


Drivers in Oceanside are bracing themselves for slick roads and traffic at a standstill.

“Two lights might take you like fifteen minutes,” said Justin Perry, an Oceanside resident.

It’s been almost a week since a sinkhole opened up on the 78. As a result, CalTrans closed westbound lanes from College Blvd to El Camino Real.

“The first time, I was almost an hour late to work. I didn’t know it was closed,” said Leticia Valencia, a San Marcos resident

It’s causing a headache for residents.

“I just want to get home, yeah,” said Madison Edwards, an Oceanside employee.

And construction workers were delayed by the rain. Crews are expected to finish replacing underground pipes on Monday, but CalTrans says now it'll take at least another week.

“I think at this point we should be more prepared for a little rain," Valencia said. "It's not that hard.”

Even on the parts of the highway not impacted by the sinkhole, CalTrans crews are still battling flooding. Workers had to push water off the highway on Tuesday morning. This caused another closure at the 78 East El Camino Real on-ramp.

“Definitely, they’re closing more roads," Valencia said. "Even on my way back now, there’s another road that was closed.”

CalTrans expects the ramp to remain closed until the rain stops.

“Now it seems like all our ground saturation is used up, just trying to move water out of the way and keep things from flooding,” said Malcolm Prante, a San Diego resident.

Later this week, CalTrans will close Eastbound lanes to finish the underground work. A spokesperson says their exact timeline depends on the weather.

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