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Rock blast closes one lane of highway

Crews paving over huge pothole

Road crews are hoping to have Highway 99 opened in both directions later this afternoon as they finish paving the asphalt damaged by a large rock.

A rock the size of a car came tumbling down onto the highway just south of Shannon Falls at 5 a.m. during rock blasting work for the highway upgrades.

The road was closed in both directions at the time of the scheduled blast.

Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Susan Williams said the rock put a pothole in the highway, forcing crews to repave the road. Traffic was reduced to single lane alternating vehicles.

Williams said there is no explanation for the accident.

“Basically it’s whatever the conditions are,” she said. “That’s why they close the road — you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

At 3 p.m. the road was still one lane alternating traffic.

Williams said: “They’re hoping to finish the work later this afternoon.”