101 Punching the road through

From Kym Kemp’s blog:

Last night at 1am Caltrans and JF Shea punched through a road on the 101 Slide for EMERGENCY VEHICLES ONLY!

Thomas Norris, a consultant employed by Caltrans, worked a full shift in Miranda yesterday at the job just south of there, then worked a shift at the 101 slide. I reached him as he was heading back out to work this morning again. He said they had started construction work on the slide and they are working “24/7″ to get the road open for everyone.

Shea has been working on the Avenue of the Giants and was able to get machines quickly over to the site. They got the emergency contract at 2pm yesterday, had a meeting at 3 to determine best course of action and by 7 pm were on the slide. By 1 am a road for fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles only was shoveled through the enormous quantity of dirt that had slid down yesterday morning.

UPDATE 9:53: Dan Gribi will be flying Diana Totten, Clif Clendenen and Tom Mattson of the Humboldt County Dept of Public works (County roads) around the southern half of the county today. Diana will be pointing out the vast amount of slides that are happening throughout the area as well as traffic patterns as folk attempt to go around the 101 slide using back roads.

SoHum Awareness
UPDATE: Estelle Fennell at SoHum Awareness is reporting, “County Roads Makes it official. Don’t use Briceland-Ettersburg to go north. Use Alderpoint- Blocksburg- Bridgeville – Highway 36.

A massive slide blocked 101 yesterday as falling water tables pulled liquid-saturated soil down with them. According to the Times Standard, “The Eel River Camp near the U.S. Highway 101 slide measured 16.47 inches of rain this month.” The river is still high but rain has not fallen for days and the water levels are dropping.

Three excavators are working on the 101 slide from both sides. Lights are up so work can continue through the night. The place is crawling with dump trucks, according to Kim Sallaway who took these photos.

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Sallaway who rode his bike to photograph the site said today was much more mellow than yesterday. He did not go up on the moving slide today. Instead, he carried his Ipod for the ride and said, “It is a beautiful sunny day. Everyone is in shirt sleeves and in a good mood.” Generally, the mood around town is upbeat and hopeful of a speedy conclusion

Sebastian Cohen, Caltrans District One Hydraulics Engineer and Major Damage Coordinator stated, “Currently, we are trying to figure out soil disposal issues” with land owners. The goals is “by Monday to have at least one lane controlled traffic. Getting kids to school is our main priority.”

Meanwhile, gas prices have raised 6 cents per gallon but contrary to speculation this wasn’t due to the slide. They went up the day before. Fuel trucks, as reported, are getting through and alternative routes have been planned for groceries and other essentials. And according to the Lost Coast Outpost, “The City of Arcata Transportation Division has arranged temporary bus service to redirect passengers whose travel plans are affected by the road closure on Highway 101 north of Garberville.”

SoHum Awareness
Oscar Paul Guzman: Landslide took out both lanes of hwy 101 on 3/30/11 near Garberville. I got special permission to pass during the repairs on 3/31/11 around 1400 hrs.
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM593VxWFQo )

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