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Road trip headache: What routes to take until Interstate 10 reopens

The collapsed elevated section of Interstate 10 at Tex Wash in Desert Center, Calif., on Monday, a day after heavy rain washed out the bridge.

The collapsed elevated section of Interstate 10 at Tex Wash in Desert Center, Calif., on Monday, a day after heavy rain washed out the bridge.

(Matt York / Associated Press)

If your vacation plans take you anywhere near the closure of the Interstate 10 near Desert Center, Calif., pack a lot of patience.

Caltrans announced Tuesday that the freeway would reopen Friday -- sort of.

Torrential rain that collapsed a bridge on Sunday shut the freeway in both directions. The agency said the intact westbound side of the bridge would be strengthened and opened to one lane of traffic in each direction in time for the weekend.

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That’s the workaround while repairs begin to fix the eastbound side of the roadway.

Until then, the 48-mile closure of the major artery from L.A. to Arizona remains from Dillon Road in Desert Hot Springs to State Route 177 in Desert Center. It affects about 27,000 vehicles that travel the road daily between Coachella and Arizona.

The current Caltrans detour take drivers on a slow course around Joshua Tree National Park by way of the town of Twentynine Palms on California Route 62 and California Route 177 to return to the 10 Freeway. It adds about 45 miles to the trip.

If you’re thinking about cutting through the national park, remember that you’ll be charged the $15 entrance fee.

Other detours involve more miles and more time. You can take a southern route -- California Route 86 to California Route 111 to Interstate 8 and then Arizona Route 95 to rejoin Interstate 10 -- or a northern route along Interstates 15 and 40 by way of Kingman, Ariz.

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For the record

June 23, 2:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misidentified Arizona Highway 95 as Interstate 95.

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Here are some resources to help you with road trip plans until Interstate 10 reopens:

--A Caltrans map of the detour routes

--Alerts on the website for Caltrans District 8 covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties

--Follow Caltrans District 8 on Twitter @Caltrans8

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