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Clogged Roadway Drain Causes Traffic Headache in Modesto

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A clogged roadway drain led to traffic headaches in Modesto.

The Sixth Street northbound Highway 99 on-ramp was closed Monday morning from 5 until 11 because of flooding. While Caltrans has unclogged the roadway, they are hoping to clear the mess in time for this week’s incoming storms.

Flashing red and orange Caltrans lights. A closed on-ramp, not what Modesto drivers like to see on a busy Monday morning commute, but a decision Caltrans said was necessary.

“They had projections of a wet El Nino coming through, so maintenance really emphasized going through the drain system,” Rick Estrada, a Caltrans spokesperson explained.

The state agency told FOX40 that maintenance crews noticed a clogged drain at the on-ramp, which forced them to close it down for six hours. Crews said rodents, litter and the recent rainfall contributed to the clog.

"Rodents had burrowed into part of the ditch, and as water collected there was a washout, came down the hill, brought down the rocks and debris with it,” Estrada said.

The weather also posed a challenge for Pelandale Avenue. A water line broke on Friday, causing the city’s crews to close the crossing bridge. But repairs will have to wait up to two weeks or even longer because of the next round of storms.

While the rain is a force that cannot be controlled, Caltrans will work on what they can -- trim trees, collect trash and keep roadways clear.

There are certain steps that we can take in order to prevent clogged drains. Caltrans shares some timeless advice -- not to litter.

Caltrans has also recently launched a new campaign called "Only rain down the drain." Asking residents to not pour motor oil and other trash in storm drains.