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Blast Shatters Windows, Frazzles Nerves

A Freeway Construction Blast Shattered Windows at UCR and Was Felt Throughout a Large Section of Campus

Campus official ask Caltrans to investigate because they were not notified

(March 15, 2006)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — March 15, 2006 — A blast at a construction site along Interstate 215/Highway 60 Wednesday afternoon shattered several windows at the administration offices of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

No injuries were reported, but campus officials are asking Caltrans to investigate the incident because the campus was not notified that the blast would be occurring, according to Ross Grayson, director of the UCR Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

The blast occurred about 2:30 p.m. at a construction site on the east side of the freeway where crews have been clearing away large rock outcroppings between the El Cerrito Drive overpass and the UCR campus, Grayson said.

“The blast caused some minor damage when it shattered windows in College Building North,” he said. “However, we’ve not had any reports of injuries.”

Seven windows were broken in six rooms facing the freeway, UCR building officials reported. Four of the windows were blown out and three were partially broken.

“At this point we’re asking Caltrans to investigate the circumstances surrounding this blast because we were not notified that it was coming,” Grayson added.

Caltrans has been working for about a year in the area and has conducted several previous blasts but none has caused any property damage and campus officials were always informed beforehand.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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