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Quality of Life

Part Of I-8 In El Cajon Will Be Closed To Replace Power Lines

A power pole near Interstate 8 east in El Cajon that was compromised when a tractor-trailer's high-profile load snagged power lines over the freeway, Nov. 25, 2015.
10News
A power pole near Interstate 8 east in El Cajon that was compromised when a tractor-trailer's high-profile load snagged power lines over the freeway, Nov. 25, 2015.

Part of Interstate 8 in El Cajon was closed twice Wednesday morning — and will be again Wednesday afternoon and late Wednesday night — so utility crews can replace power lines downed by a tractor-trailer's high-profile load.

The first full closure ran from 8:30 until about 10 a.m., and the second began at 11 a.m. at Greenfield Drive and was expected to last about an hour, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Around 2 p.m., the freeway is scheduled to be closed again so new lines can be installed, according to a statement posted on SDG&E's Facebook page. At 10 p.m., the freeway is expected to be shut down for a final time while crews work to complete the repairs.

The shutdowns were prompted by a large water tank being towed behind a big rig that snagged on wires over the eastbound lanes near North Second Street around 1:20 a.m. and left a few power poles snapped in half, CHP Officer Kevin Pearlstein said.

The snafu caused a power outage affecting around 4,100 customers in El Cajon, according to SDG&E. As of 11:20 a.m. power had been restored to all but 26 of the affected customers.

The big rig was hauling equipment for the U.S. Department of Energy, Fox 5 reported.

All freeway lanes in both directions were closed at Second Street so San Diego Gas & Electric could remove the broken poles, according to Caltrans and the CHP.

SDG&E estimated each closure could take up to two hours to allow for repairs. The utility does not anticipate any additional outages as repairs are underway.

During the shutdowns, eastbound traffic will exit the freeway at Second Street, head north onto Greenfield Drive then back onto the interstate. Westbound motorists can exit at Greenfield Drive then take Second Street to the freeway, or take Lake Jennings Park Road to state Route 67, then head toward Interstate 8 or state Route 52.

However, the CHP urged motorists to avoid the affected portion of the freeway.