Highways 74, 243 remain open to Idyllwild in winter conditions

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Snow piled almost 2 feet high borders the edges of Highway 74 to Mountain Center just above the 3,000-foot level Saturday, Nov. 30, following the near record breaking snow and rainstorm on the San Jacinto Mountains. The snow is nearly melted by Monday, Dec. 2, but more rain and snow is predicted. Valley News/Tony Ault photo
Nearly a year of work by Caltrans contractors to repair storm damaged Highways 74 and 243 leading to Idyllwild paid off Thanksgiving holiday weekend when near record heavy early rain and snow fell on the roadways. Except for a small roadway slip on Highway 243 that was repaired quickly and heavy snowplow traffic over Nov. 27-28, the two mountain roads remained open with chains advised. A rockfall on Highway 74 did hit the front of a car, but no one was injured in that incident, according to the California Highway Patrol. Motorists traveling up Highway 74 and 243 above 3,000 feet were treated to a wintery scene with snow laying heavy on pine tree branches, 2-foot piles of plowed snow on the sides of the road and the mounta
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