Highway 101 near Brookings reopens after slide temporary fix

Highway 101 near Brookings reopens after slide temporary fix. (Courtesy ODOT/Tidewater Contractors)

U.S. Highway 101 opened Saturday to traffic trying to get past Hooskanaden Creek (milepost 344), approximately 12 miles north of Brookings. A landslide closed the highway on February 24.

Traffic through the slide area is limited to a single lane on a gravel road surface, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

ODOT wants drivers to be cautious when going through the area as flaggers will provide traffic control and motorists should expect delays.

Crews from Tidewater Contractors will be on site to maintain the gravel surface and keep the road open.

Dan Latham spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Transportation tells News 10 the goal is to get three paved lanes with a reasonable grade for drivers through this area but that could take weeks to accomplish.

Right now the cost of the project is $2.5 million to get the road in the condition it was three weeks ago.

Latham said the slide is currently moving three inches an hour.

"That will eventually move the roadway out of place," Latham said. "What we can do, since it's moving so slowly, is continue to pour rock for the uphill side and on the top to keep a level road surface. If it was moving much fast we would not be able to keep pace."

Latham said that's why crews have opened just one lane right now.

Studies will have to be commissioned before any permanent fix can be looked at seriously.

Area leaders through the South West Area Commission on Transportation are tasked with the solution and met Friday to get an update on the project.

"If there is public support, a local support and state support for what could be a very expensive fix then we'll certainly look at that," Latham said. "For the time being what makes the most sense is to just keep the road open."

The plan is to pave it but only if the slide drops down from 3 inches an hour to zero.

"That could be a few weeks or a few months," Latham said.

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