A section of Highway 101 near Brookings, Oregon, will partially re-open to a single gravel lane, with flaggers on either side, Saturday at noon after a massive landslide last month.
The Oregon Department of Transportation called the area where the landslide occurred, about 12 miles north of Brookings, a “chronic trouble spot” in a tweet.
“[Landslides] seem to happen in this location every 10 to 15 years,” ODOT spokesman Dan Latham said. “I don’t know exactly how this compares to the previous ones, but there is frequent movement on this hillside.”
Latham said it will cost an estimated $2.5 million to get the highway back to its original state, but a long-term solution for the area is still uncertain.
“That $2.5 million figure is to get it back to the same road condition it was before. It does not address the underlying problem of the slide though and for that, I don’t know if there is a long-term fix,” Latham said. “It’s an enormous slide. It’s something we’ve been historically dealing with as long as we’ve had roads in this location.”
That $2.5 million estimate may increase, Latham said, due to there still being movement on the hillside from the landslide.
“We want to get that movement down to less than it is now, hopefully to zero movement, before we’re paving and that may be a couple weeks or months away,” he said.
For now, Latham said, the highway will have one partial gravel lane re-opening and then eventually get that to two gravel lanes.
He said he hopes to see it paved and back to its original dimensions and grade by late spring or early summer.