Just try getting your kicks on Route 66 these days. It’s not easy, the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., reported.
Large sections of the historic highway have been closed since mid-September after heavy desert thunderstorms washed out bridges and undermined sections of pavement. In some spots there are holes large enough to swallow one of the motorcycles belonging to tourist groups that regularly retrace the western route.
Those travelers and others now have to detour off of Route 66 between Newberry Springs and Needles, taking I-40 instead. San Bernardino County officials estimate it will take $1.4 million to fix the damage. They hope to reopen the road by late November.
For Route 66 enthusiasts, the detour is a disappointment. For those who live on the highway that brought generations of migrants west to California, the closure is more painful.
“We’re basically closed,” said Jim Wilson, 62, owner of Bolo Station Bar & Grill & RV Park, in Cadiz.
Barriers at the Kelbaker Road/Route 66 intersection 6 miles west of Wilson’s place tell eastbound motorists the road is closed to through traffic. Not many venture through to his place. The handful that do have had to turn around.
“You can get down to my place here,” Wilson said, “but right after you go over the bridge past my property (the road) is closed.”
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