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Atwater’s Applegate overpass closure extended for more work, Caltrans says

‘Black cloud’ overpass? Here’s the problem at Applegate Road and Hwy. 99 after recent crashes

The Applegate Road and Highway 99 overpass in Atwater was shut down indefinitely by Caltrans on Oct. 12, 2018, due to a big rig accident. It wasn't the first big rig incident to close the busy overpass.
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The Applegate Road and Highway 99 overpass in Atwater was shut down indefinitely by Caltrans on Oct. 12, 2018, due to a big rig accident. It wasn't the first big rig incident to close the busy overpass.

The Applegate Road-Highway 99 overpass will be closed for a week longer than estimated by the state Department of Transportation, officials said Friday.

The overpass, which has been deemed safe to travel under, has not been open to traffic passing over Highway 99 since a truck carrying heavy machinery scraped the underside of the bridge Oct. 11, according to Caltrans.

The bridge closure has also choked access to the businesses on the western side of the freeway, frustrating business owners.

Caltrans said work on the bridge began Oct. 27 with an initial planned completion date of Saturday, but crews have since extended the completion to Nov 18. Full-highway closures of northbound Highway 99 at Applegate Road will continue from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily through Nov. 18, Caltrans said.

A 2013 Kenworth big rig towing an excavator on a flatbed trailer was traveling north at about 6:40 a.m. Oct. 11 in the left lane on Highway 99 underneath the Applegate Road overpass when the excavator’s boom arm struck the underside of the bridge, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Traffic to the shopping center has been diverted around the highway, which is expected to hurt business, owners recently told the Sun-Star.

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