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Caltrans Reopens Rural San Diego County Highway with Dynamite Alternative

Caltrans News Flash #123

Date:March 20, 2017
Contact:Hayden Manning
Phone:(619) 688-6723
Contact:Tamie McGowen
Phone:(916) 657-5060

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – In this Caltrans News Flash, see how crews opened a highway earlier than expected by using an innovative implosion technique to remove boulders that fell earlier this month on State Route 78 near Bandy Canyon in northern San Diego County. Instead of using dynamite to remove the large boulders, Caltrans used an electronic explosion device that expanded the rock and contained pieces from the blast.

Close to a dozen boulders blocked SR-78 that carries more than 9,000 vehicles per day. Crews analyzed the area and determined the best time saving and cost effective, high explosive alternative to detonating dynamite. Caltrans crews also performed a rock scaling operation to remove additional boulders from the hillside that had the potential to fall on the roadway.

Thanks to the innovative cartridges used to breakdown the boulders, Caltrans was able to reopen SR-78 in about 30 hours instead of several days.

This video can also be viewed at:

This Caltrans News Flash is the 123rd in a series of videos highlighting Caltrans' activities that present the wide-ranging and critical work that Caltrans does to enhance California's economy and livability.To see more of these and other videos, search for #CaltransNewsFlash on Twitter or visit Caltrans News Flash on YouTube (

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