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Highway 79 lanes reopen in Murrieta after cans bound for recycling spill

By in Press Enterprise on December 25, 2017

By Gail Wesson

A load of aluminum cans headed for recycling was spilled on busy Winchester Road/Highway 79 Sunday afternoon, shutting down two southbound lanes of the regional route for about two hours for clean up, according to the Murrieta Police Department.

One of the doors became unsecured on the commercial vehicle hauling the cans, spilling them along about a quarter-mile stretch of road from south of Benton Road to Auld Road, according to Murrieta Sgt. Jim Gruwell.

Gruwell said the driver “didn’t notice it until he got to Auld.” Police received a call about the spill at 1:11 p.m.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol assisted with blocking traffic from the road and Caltrans assisted with the clean up. The clean up was completed by 3:14 p.m.

SOUTHBOUND WINCHESTER ROAD IS CLOSED BETWEEN BENTON AND LA ALBA DUE TO A SPILLED LOAD OF RECYCLABLES.
PLEASE USE ALTERNATE ROUTE. pic.twitter.com/XCPHdj4M0e

— Murrieta Police Dept (@MurrietaPD) December 24, 2017

That stretch of road is bordered by housing tracts and commercial shopping centers. The Caltrans traffic volume report for 2016 shows an estimated peak hour volume of traffic in both directions at 2,500 vehicles.

Caltrans used heavy equipment mounted with a blade “to push the cans against the shoulder of the road” where the pile was marked by traffic cones and left for cleanup, Gruwell said.

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