Astoria, Ore – (Release from Oregon Department of Transportation) Our first goal is making the area safe enough to reopen one lane while we continue working on the lanes closer to the hillside. We don’t have an estimated time for reopening a single lane, but we expect it to be no sooner than Friday, December 2.
Our work will continue tomorrow and through the weekend if necessary to reopen the highway as soon as it is safe to do so.
More info on the slide:
The slide started Tuesday night about 100 feet above the roadway, likely due to rain and strong winds on trees with deep roots in the rocky hillside. The slide is about 110 feet wide and sent at least 1,800 cubic yards of mostly rock onto the highway. The semi caught in this initial slide has been removed from the debris, but still needs to be towed out. We’re grateful that the driver of that truck is okay.
In addition to debris removal work that began yesterday, our geologist found two car-sized sections of hillside that need to be removed because they are large enough to block the highway again if they fall.
Before we can reopen one lane:
We’ve got to remove those two very large sections of hillside that are on the verge of sliding and blocking the entire highway. We also need to clear enough debris on the road surface so we can reopen one lane with enough additional space so crews can continue their work and catch any new smaller rock slides. We also need to repair any pavement damage to prepare the surface for our single-lane detour.
For travelers during our closure:
If you’re planning to travel between the Portland metro area and the northern OregonCoast in the next few days, please use an alternate route. Currently, US 26 is your best alternative. OR 47 and 202 are options for passenger vehicles, but OR 47 has length restrictions on commercial vehicles. Winter weather conditions continue throughout the area, so make sure to check your alternate route for the latest conditions on TripCheck.com
If you need to travel in this area – please do not use your GPS to detour on less developed roads. This can be dangerous for you, especially with the severe weather conditions we are seeing. Remember also to slow down in wintry weather when visibility is generally lower and stopping distances are longer on wet and/or freezing conditions. Always bring traction devices if you cross snow zones. Snow zone and chain restriction information is also located on our TripCheck website.