EL DORADO COUNTY, CA - If you drive on Highway 50 between the Red Hawk Casino and Pollock Pines between now and labor day, the word is to take it slow and try not to stir up any loose rocks or gravel.
Night time road grinding before repaving is leaving some loose rocks and gravel to be kicked up during the early morning commute and it's not sitting well with some motorists.
"We were driving down the freeway on our way to the airport, a car passed in front of me and all the rocks just flew up and broke my windshield," John Briggs said.
Brian Guytan was unhappy to see the windshield on his wife's car suffered the same fate, but he was more concerned about dings in the paint.
"When you have these chips all over your car, you'll never have the same kind of paint job like the factory can do," Guytan said.
The grinding of the roadway is a technique called cold planning and Cal Trans said without it, the new asphalt would not adhere to the road surface. However, they do have four sweepers at work each night, one with a vacuum, in an attempt to keep the roadway clear for the next day's commute.
Cal Trans admits, however, that loose rocks and gravel do sometimes cause problems on projects like this.
Anyone whose car is damaged can make a claim by going to the Cal Trans website and putting the word "claim" in the search engine.
By Jonathan Mumm, firstname.lastname@example.org