Bridge at Sand Canyon causing detours, headaches for some

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) For Martin Folley, the countless hours of long detours have given him enough time to calculate just how many miles he's had to drive out of the way daily.

"Twenty miles out of the way, every day," said Folley.

Folley travels up and down Highway 58, and normally uses the Sand Canyon exit to get to work. But, since the bridge was torn down, he's had to take a 10-mile detour to work and an additional 10 miles back home for the past six months.

"I've calculated the miles. I've drove over 3,000 miles out of my way to get back and forth to work, and anybody else that works and lives in this area has done the same thing," he said. "That's about $500 in gas. I could have driven across the country by now."

As Eyewitness News reported in July 2013, the bridge was torn down in June, and commuters quickly became frustrated when workers didn't return to build it back up. Caltrans originally said the bridge reconstruction would be finished in August 2013.

"We did run into an issue of asbestos that was found in the local area, or in the immediate area of the bridge," said Jose Camarena with Caltrans. "Hopefully, by October we will be done, and we will have that construction project completed."

When that deadline wasn't met, it was pushed back to December. And, as 2014 rolled in, Eyewitness News went searching for answers.

"They're not able to pave during the low temperatures, but other than that, there wasn't anything significant that caused the delay," Tami Conrado, Caltrans District 6 spokeswoman, said. "They're still out there and hope to be done within the next few weeks, or at by the end of January barring any other weather complications."

Folley said all he wants is for the bridge work to finally finish.

"Do I give credit when it takes a year to do a bridge? I don't know about that," he said. "I've already seen three accidents since I've been here, I just hope it don't (sic) take someone's life."

Caltrans workers were out Saturday afternoon constructing the bridge.