WHITEWATER (CBS) – Riverside County announced a traffic relief measure for drivers stuck in traffic on Interstate 10 at the San Gorgonio Pass.

Until now, there had been no way to get off the freeway between Whitewater and Cabazon during major backups.  Today, Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit announced the use of portable breaks, created in the median, to give drivers stuck in traffic a way to escape.  In the event of a major traffic jam, California Highway Patrol officers would be able to remove a section of the barriers and route backed-up traffic off the freeway.

“In emergencies, this stretch of freeways has left motorists jammed with no other route,” said Supervisor John Benoit. “The portable median breaks are now a tool in the kit for future freeway closures.”

In December, the CHP closed the I-10 for six hours after a fatal accident causing a nearly daylong backup.  The removable, 200-foot-long sets K-rails were placed 1.2 miles east of Main Street in Cabazon and 1.7 miles west of Haugen-Lehmann Way, outside of Whitewater. They replace wood-and-metal dividers that separate east- and westbound traffic.

Caltrans is looking at a permanent solution to be put in place next year.

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