A slide on February 25 destroyed a quarter mile of the highway and closed the road for nearly two weeks. ODOT and Tidewater Contractors opened the highway to a single lane on a gravel road surface March 9, and have been working to widen the road to two lanes since.
Ground movement at the slide location has slowed to a few inches a day, thanks in part to good weather the first two weeks of March. However, rain is forecast over the next week, which will give geologists a chance to observe whether additional water affects ground movement.
“We want to get through the next week or two and see how the hillside responds,” ODOT District Manager Darrin Neavoll said. “If all goes well, we plan to pave this section of highway in early April and open it to two lanes of traffic.”
The speed limit on the temporary alignment through the slide area will be reduced to 45 mph throughout the spring and summer.
Meanwhile, ODOT has started design work on a project that will rebuild the roadway to its original alignment, including three lanes and shoulders. Construction is planned for late summer.