[UPDATE 12:43 p.m.] 101 Closed North of Leggett; What Are the Options?
A slide rumbled over Hwy 101 yesterday at Bridges Creek about six miles north of Leggett blocking the road.
Reader Erin Bear sent in this video of the hillside throwing rocks onto the highway about 6:16 p.m.
Caltrans then shut down this main southern route out of Humboldt County. They stated, “A slide has covered both lanes; there is currently no estimated time to reopening and there are no alternate routes available.”
Depending on what works for you, here are the possible routes south and what that means.
Hwy 299 to Hwy 5:
- Take Hwy 299 exit from 101 north of Arcata.
- Slide at Big French Creek is the main obstacle. The highway is only open at certain times. Here they are:
Daily schedule (weekdays and weekends) as follows:
Morning: 5:30 am to 7:30 am
Single Opening: 10:00 am
Single Opening: 12:00 noon
Single Opening: 02:00 pm
Afternoon: 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Overnight: 6:30 pm to 5:30 am with 1-hour delays….Every Sunday, the detour is open starting at 5:30 am and continuing all day until Monday at 7:30 am, with one-way traffic control and up to 30-minute delays.
- A commenter on Trip Advisor says, “[I]t’s a good highway, but very twisty.”
Hwy 36 to Hwy 5:
- Take Hwy 36 exit south of Fortuna at Alton.
- This rural route is narrow, curvy, beautiful, and will have more traffic on it now that 101 is closed.
- Gas up as stations are few and far between.
- Not for the fainthearted. One person wrote on Tripadvisor, “the curves and lanes are ONLY for motorcycles.” Another said, “I definitely believe in god,angels and prayers after my survival of highway 36.”
Bell Springs Road:
- This is a Humboldt County/Mendocino County Road. It is not well maintained following the recent storms. We do NOT recommend it.
- We won’t give directions to it but you can Google Map it.
- It is dirt.
- It is already in bad shape because of the storms.
- If you don’t regularly drive dirt roads, don’t take this road.
- From Redway through Bell Springs to Hwy 101 north of Laytonville, it took one experienced local driver two hours this morning.
- One local who took it last night said, “I survived… I can’t believe I did that…One part was horrific on my car…[S]omeone is going to get stuck at that one place, and I’m glad it wasn’t me”
- We’ve added a video of what one reader called “the worst spot.”
- Caltrans Traffic Incident Information Page states, “A lot of traffic is attempting to use this road and spinning out.” Then adds that CHP unit will “stop traffic from coming up Bell Springs Road.”
UPDATE 11:32 a.m.: The California Highway Patrol offers this information:
On March 9, 2017 at approximately 1830 hours, a large rock and mud slide occurred on U.S. Highway 101 approximately three miles north of the Standish Hickey State Recreation Area in Leggett, CA. The slide had spilled over temporary concrete railing near the roadway and brought down a catchment fence. Due to the potential for additional slides, as well as the damage to the concrete railing and catchment fence both the north and south bound lanes of U.S. Highway 101 were closed. U.S. Highway 101 northbound was closed at State Route 1 and southbound was closed at the southern most portion of State Route 271 in Piercy, CA. Cal-Trans crews continued clean-up efforts throughout the night. Cal-Trans will continue to work on the slide throughout the day and evaluate the conditions of adjacent hillside and the roadway. Cal-Trans has advised they hope to have one lane of the roadway open by later today, in order to alternate traffic through the area but the highway will remain closed until their Geologist’s deem it is safe to allow traffic through.
Currently the alternate routes of travel for passenger vehicles and light trucks are State Routes 36 and 20. The current alternate routes of travel for larger commercial vehicles are State Routes 20 and 199.
For additional updates please refer to the Cal-Trans District 1 Facebook page on the following link.
UPDATE 12:43 p.m. Friday: Good News! Traffic is Traveling Through the Hwy 101 Closure