Rock slides force closure of Hwy 178

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A series of rock slides through the Kern River Canyon on Monday night forced the closure of a portion of Highway 178.

According to the California Highway Patrol, rocks began falling due to rain in the area around 5 p.m.

By about 6 p.m., several vehicles became stuck behind large boulders and mud, prompting a long-term closure.

The CHP said it expects Hwy. 178 to be closed through at least Tuesday morning and anticipates it could take Caltrans a few days to clear the roadway completely. Caltrans was unable to move equipment into the area Monday night, due to the risk of further rock slides.

Officials recommend commuters take the alternate route of Highway 155 to get around the closure.