California is still bracing itself for highway closings and reroutings, as flood and mudslide warnings persist as heavy rains pummel the state for the fifth straight day.
In southern California Highway 101 southbound at the Ventura county line is closed due to a mudslide, with the state’s Dept. of Transportation and highway patrol warning of a possible closure and a detour on Interstate 5 at the Grapevine.
In northern California, Interstate 80 has been closed intermittently between Reno, NV and Sacramento because of the snowy road conditions. There have also been closures on I-5 between Sacramento and Medford, OR.
“The closures have caused companies like Con-Way Western Express to run freight on Sunday, which is something we typically don’t do,” Con-Way spokesperson Joe DeLuca told Fleet Owner. “Whenever you have a highway closed and can’t get service to your markets, it drives up costs and causes freight delays.”
Buena Park, CA-based Con-Way Western Express has had contingency plans that included alternate routes along with a Sunday operating schedule in place, Deluca said, which has mitigated the effects of the road closures and reroutes so that services have only been “slightly affected.”
Mike McKnight, director of linehaul for La Mirada-based GI Trucking, concurred that the impact of highway closings and reroutings on deliveries has been minimal. GI Trucking has most been affected by the Highway 101 closure, which resulted in a 75-mile reroute, McKnight said.
Before the storms hit, GI Trucking began operating its fleet at an earlier schedule and readied reroutes around the possible highway closures, McKnight said.
“Customers are generally understanding in terms of delays, because they’re in it too,” said McKnight, noting that there may be delays for shipments into the following day.
“Today’s morning commute was not bad, with all of our people getting in and out of work,” McKnight said. But scheduling routes around off-peak traffic hours as well as the mild congestion as a result of the road conditions has resulted in nagging— but not concerning delays, he added.