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Last Dirt Road In State Highway System Closes

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Deemed too dangerous by Caltrans, Route 173, the last unpaved road in the state highway system, was closed on Monday in Lake Arrowhead due to maintenance and safety concerns.

In the past 10 years, at least one person has died "falling down the steep, unguarded mountainside," reports The Sun, and to maintain the narrow road Caltrans has spent between $20,000 and $40,000 annually. "It cuts into our budget to repair the paved roadways up there which need it so badly," said a Caltrans spokeswoman.

A peaceful demonstration took place while maintenance workers close off the road with K-rails, padlocks and chains, reports The Sun. People held signs that read "Maintain Highway 173 Save lives!" The road, used for off-roading was also an unofficial evacuation route in case of a disaster.