I-10 Traffic Mess Clears Up Slowly Near Palm Springs

Road Repair Project Blamed For Major Back-Up

POSTED: 06:15 AM PST Feb 12, 2012    UPDATED: 11:08 PM PST Feb 12, 2012 

A road repair project along Interstate 10 made for major delays on Sunday for drivers heading into and out of the Palm Springs area.

California Department of Transportation crews were scheduled to make repairs on a six-mile stretch of freeway, from Hargave Avenue to Sunset Avenue, Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

The repairs stretched to most of Sunday, shutting down two of four lanes on the freeway on both the eastbound and westbound sides.

"This has been an on-going project that has been normally taking place at night," said Terri Kasinga with CalTrans Public Affairs. "For some reason, the schedule was switched to today. Public Affairs was not alerted to this."

In turn, the local media was not advised to let people know.

The California Highway Patrol was called in to assist with the traffic nightmare around 10:30 a.m., according to its website.

At times, the stop-and-go traffic on the westbound side trailed 19 miles -- all the way to the Indian exit in North Palm Springs.

People looking to beat the westbound gridlock tried using side access roads, but those quickly clogged as well.

Drivers also veered into opposing traffic on the eastbound side, trying to get to the nearest exit and get off, said CHP Officer Joe Zagorski.

All lanes were re-opened to traffic just before 11 p.m.

CalTrans has scheduled a meeting for Monday to discuss the problems caused by this construction project.