ASTORIA, Ore. — Nearly two weeks after a landslide on Oregon's north coast closed more than 30 miles of Highway 30 between Astoria and Clatskanie, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports one lane is open in both directions as of Sunday afternoon.
While repairs continue, a single lane is now open at all hours with flaggers directing traffic. Monday is the first day that the highway will be open during the day since the slide on the night of November 29th sent rock and mud onto both lanes of traffic.
The highway was closed for several days until one lane opened on December 4th nightly from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. for the past week for the safety of crews performing hazardous rock scaling work during daylight.
"Crews are continuing to scale large sections of loose rock that are on the verge of falling as well as the debris from the original landslide," ODOT said.
Drivers are advised to watch out for flaggers and expect delays as traffic will flow in alternating directions and will occasionally be stopped to accommodate crews and their equipment.
There is still a lot of material that needs to be removed and therefore, there is no estimated date for reopening additional lanes or the highway fully.
ODOT says the slide about 110 feet wide started about 100 feet above the road and was likely caused by heavy rain and wind. A semi-truck drove into the slide, but the driver was not injured
Photos: Landslide on Highway 30
To open one lane on Highway 30, ODOT said two sections of the hill where the landslide occurred needed to be removed because they're on the verge of sliding and are large enough — roughly the size of two cars — to block the entire highway when they fall. Crews also needed to clear enough debris from the road and repair any pavement damage to open up a single lane of traffic, giving space for flaggers and for crews to keep working to clear debris and catch any new, smaller slides.
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ODOT encourages drivers not to use GPS to detour on less developed roads, which can be dangerous, especially in winter weather conditions.