PLACER COUNTY, Calif. — Drivers in Roseville are frustrated after they found rocks hitting their windshields on westbound I-80 Wednesday morning.
This isn't the first time drivers have dealt with rocks along the stretch of the freeway after loose gravel plagued drivers in February and March.
Katie Mowat commutes daily on westbound I-80 from Rocklin through Antelope.
"When we merged onto the freeway this morning it was business as usual until we made our way into the commuter and two lanes from there until just past Antelope we were pelted with debris off the road with several large size pebbles hitting the windshield," Mowat told ABC10.
She says it's been an on-and-off issue since earlier this year.
"It's frustrating because we've already got damage to our windshield from this exact issue. We've waited to replace it until the roadwork is done," Mowat said.
According to Jeremy Linder, a spokesperson for Caltrans, on Tuesday night crews were working on grinding along the eastbound shoulder near Rocklin Road as well as striping removal between Douglas Boulevard and Riverside Avenue.
He told ABC10 it's possible some of the loose material was in the wheel path of cars between Douglas Boulevard and Riverside Avenue on the inside shoulder since the lane shifted two feet.
"There shouldn’t have been any loose material in the No. 4 or 5 lanes. Either way, the contractor’s plan requires a sweeper whenever work involving disturbed soil or hauling rock, grindings, or other loose materials," Linder told ABC10.
Other drivers commented on a social media post warning others of the debris on the road.
"Me too. Couldn’t believe how many items were hitting my car!" Sandy Armstrong commented.
Another user, Matthew Mulock, commented "It was crazy! I had rocks flying all over my truck..."
Linder says construction started in August and sweeping happens while work is taking place.
The construction is part of the I-80 Auxiliary Lane and 5th Lane Project that will add an auxiliary lane along eastbound I-80 between Highway 65 and Rocklin Road with a two-lane off-ramp. A fifth lane will be added on westbound I-80 between Douglas Boulevard and Riverside Avenue as well as changing the Douglas off-ramp from two lanes to one lane.
Linder says Caltrans will follow up to make sure a sweeper is onsite to remove any debris and crews were sweeping the area Wednesday morning.
The nearly $50 million project is expected to be complete in July 2024.
"Under California law, Caltrans does not insure vehicles for damage on state highways. Drivers in California must exercise caution on all roads and carry adequate automobile insurance. Claims for cracked windows should be filed with their insurance agency. There have been some misleading media reports that Caltrans is “paying out up to $10,000” for claims filed with the department, but those reports are inaccurate," Steve Nelson, a spokesperson for Caltrans previously told ABC10.
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