New slide on Highway 101 concerns ODOT

New slide opened up this week on Highway 101 at mile marker 332 concerns ODOT (Courtesy: Curry County Emergency Management)

The Oregon Department of Transportation is now working on a new landslide opening up along U.S. Highway 101 in Curry County.

This one is on the ocean side of the road at mile marker 332, just a few miles south of Gold Beach.

It's about ten feet from the road but crews are closing one lane as a precaution.

"The highway is open. This is a three-lane section, where we have closed one lane to allow space for our crews to park as they work on the slide," ODOT Public Information Officer Dan Latham said.

Drainage is a concern for ODOT crews evaluating the slide.

"At this time, we are monitoring the area and working to divert water away so the slide doesn’t increase in size," Latham said. ODOT crews are also worried drivers will not be careful enough with their curiosity.

"One other reason we closed a lane is to keep people from getting too close to the slide," Latham said.

A video given to News 10 shot by Jeremy Dumire, Curry Emergency Management Coordinator shows how deep the landslide goes about ten feet from the road.

"As you can see from that video, the person with the phone is remarkably close to the edge," Latham said. "There’s a lot of wind in this area, no guardrail and not much protection for people walking around. We really want to discourage people from doing this sort of thing. It’s dangerous."

Right now ODOT is working on plans for a permanent fix and hopes the highway will not be impacted.

"We don’t believe it will reach the road, but we will need to repair the slide area. We’re working on plans for that, and hope to have a contract to begin work within the next month," Latham said.

Curry County Commissioner Court Boice is holding his breath following the Hooskanaden Slide at mile marker 344 that tore a section of US Highway 101 near Brookings and closed it for nearly two weeks.

"At least for this moment, the highway and lanes are holding," Boice said. "Got our fingers crossed – prayers for ODOT as this will be another very expensive repair and difficult to engineer-plan repair!"

Latham tells News 10 the heavy rains in April have not affected that slide.

"No change. We’ll continue to monitor it, wait for it to dry out and hopefully pave in a couple of weeks," Latham said.

The goal is to get three paved lanes with a reasonable grade for drivers through the area but that could take weeks to accomplish.

So far it's cost $2.5 million and a permanent fix will be even more.

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