When Highway 330 was closed in mid-March and, a day later, an emergency culvert repair and road replacement project began under a CalTrans-issued emergency contract, it was anticipated that the highway closure would last into mid-June. However, per a conversation with Darin Cooke of CalTrans today, Highway 330 may re-open earlier than anticipated. “The excavation is pretty much complete,” he tells KBHR, “and we will be placing the new pipe this week.” The specially made galvanized pipe, which is 11’ in diameter and 266’ long arrived, via transport from Kentucky, earlier this month and is being assembled and installed under what will be the reconstructed Highway 330. As it was not a planned project, Cooke notes, there was no set schedule–but, he adds, “The contractor is definitely moving at a fast pace. So, we don’t anticipate it will take until mid-June; mid-May might be a possibility.” Officials with the City of Big Bear Lake, as well as the organizing committee for the Big Bear Climb of the Amgen Tour of California, have been campaigning for a swift reopening of the roadway in anticipation of the many visitors expected to the mountain for the cycling race, which rolls into Big Bear on Friday, May 21; the Amgen route does not include Highway 330, but does incorporate Highways 18 and 38.
Update as of Friday, April 16: As of Thursday, installation of the culvert was completed and backfill takes place today and should be completed within two weeks, weather permitting. Once this portion of the project is complete, the roadway will be resurfaced. CalTrans officials now estimate the re-opening of Highway 330 for mid-May, and say they are confident that it will be open before the Amgen Tour of California.