‘Black cloud’ overpass? Here’s the problem at Applegate Road and Hwy. 99 after recent crashes

The Applegate Road and Highway 99 overpass in Atwater was shut down indefinitely by Caltrans on Oct. 12, 2018, due to a big rig accident. It wasn't the first big rig incident to close the busy overpass.
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The Applegate Road and Highway 99 overpass in Atwater was shut down indefinitely by Caltrans on Oct. 12, 2018, due to a big rig accident. It wasn't the first big rig incident to close the busy overpass.

Vikaas Shanker is a news reporter covering education and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. He also is a data fellow of the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. A Chicago area native and University of Kansas graduate, he has been reporting in Merced County since 2016.