[UPDATE Tuesday] Hwy 101 Closed Six Miles North of Leggett

Barrier twisted by rock slide

Barrier twisted by rock slide at Bridges Creek. Hwy 101 is closed here with no estimated time of reopening. [Image from Caltrans]

A slide closed Hwy 101 at Bridges Creek between Hwy 1 and Hwy 271 last night. According to a 12:16 a.m. post on Caltrans District 1’s Facebook page,

US Highway 101 is closed about 6 miles north of Leggett due to a rockslide. It is unknown when the highway will reopen.

This is the location that has been under one-way traffic control for about five weeks.

Bell Springs Road is being closed. The CHP Traffic Incident Information page states that Bell Springs is open to “residents only. No semi trucks on Bell Springs Road…so we don’t have semi’s using the road like last time… .”

slide lit up under floodlights.

The slide lit up under floodlights. [Photo by Tiburcio Lopez]

slide has twisted and pushed the barrier

Close up view of how the slide has twisted and pushed the barrier. [Photo taken about 11:30 p.m. by Dareena Sisk]

UPDATE 8:53 a.m.: Caltrans updated their Facebook at approximately 8:40 a.m. They added the following photo and said, “There is no local detour available, and we do not have an estimated time for reopening yet.”

Rocks from the slide have pushed the barrier fence entirely across Hwy 101. [Photo from Caltrans]

UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: Caltrans is now saying,

We’re now estimating that U.S. Highway 101 north of Leggett in Mendocino County may reopen to one-way traffic sometime on Wednesday, April 19. It is unlikely that the road will reopen before then.
A photo from farther back shows the scale of the slide in relation to the roadway and offending hillside.
Staff on-site has relayed that there is more slide material hanging above the road which has yet to come down.

Slide at Bridges Creek still has more rock that will likely fall,

Slide at Bridges Creek still has more rock that will likely fall, says Caltrans. [Photo from Alexander Correa]

UPDATE 10:22 p.m.: Bell Springs Road Blocked (Now open)

UPDATE Tuesday: Caltrans Warns That Estimate of Reopening 101 on Wednesday Isn’t Likely to Happen

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99 comments

  • Now we have a good excuse for not making it to school in Mendocino this morning. My son gets an extended spring break!! Yippee!!!!
    Take your time cal trans, we don’t mind a bit

  • What’s the excuse for not fixing this slide, not enough time ? Bs , not enough money? Bs , or not smart enough to come up with a solution? Maybe , or just stuck in the Sama Ole bureaucracy where no one can pull the trigger, this country is ridiculous, with all the technology we have ,we can’t even keep a road open

    • We can’t keep a mountain from falling down.

      • May not stop it ,but can do a ton more to contain it , putting in a stop light isn’t considered progress in my book, why even bother paying taxes tomorrow

        • No wonder you are a lone ranger.

        • Tonto warn you not drink too much bubbling firewater yesterday. Give bad attitude next day. Fill saddlebags with supplies, get on Silver, ride over slide. Don’t take jelly beans with you, won’t help headache go away. Don’t eat left over brown rabbit either. Tonto fix left over pig for you before leave. Tomorrow will be better day after taxes paid.

          HI-YO SILVER AWAY

        • Are you sure that you aren’t Tonto instead of the Lone Ranger?
          Why don’t you get out there in the rain and get to digging with more rocks ready to come bounding down. I’m sure you’ll be done by tomorrow morning.

          Bozo the Clone

    • Maybe Elon Musk can do something about it! Flying cars? That way, when all three roads fail, we could still get out. Or maybe it’s a conspiracy to keep us isolated. Lord of the Flies, anyone?

    • Have you seen this slide? I’m surprised they were able to keep the road open as long as they did. It is on an extremely steep slope. They can’t send a worker up there to scale rocks.

    • The road is in the wrong place. It can’t be maintained properly and kept open constantly because there is a mountain that is coming down. So I think the enormity of having to reroute an entire section of the road — or make more major bridges, whatever — in that mountainous, unstable terrain, in what’ll be a tremendously complex and costly project, does slow things down.

      First it has to become apparent that the only thing to do is to re-do everything. I think that’ll be apparent soon, just like at Last Chance grade. *Soon* from now, not *soon* from when they should have realized it long ago.

      It takes an awful lot of expense and time for “them” to realize that they should have done it a long time ago and saved everyone the time and expense. Human nature.

      Hopefully in the future they can more easily recognize areas through which it would prove costly to maintain a major highway, and choose better routes.

      • Just clear the road with a loader, not looking for a new interstate, sheesh

        • OK you are the Lone Ranger, get off your computer, grab your shovel and put your energy into shoveling that rock. Oh yeah keep looking up for those falling rocks…you may not value your safety, but I do value the safety of our Caltrans workers who give up sleep and family time to work in crappy weather conditions to keep the roads open. So troll somewhere else or grab that shovel.

      • Our beloved governor Brown in his first term of office cancelled the project and re allocated the funds to build a high viaduct in the Leggett area, beginning at the 101&1 junction, that would have removed these issues over 30 years ago.. what were the funds used for? Bike lanes state wide.. granted bicycles need road space too.. however not even a bicycle can traverse this slide now.

    • go ahead and put yourself in a 100k machine one the side of an active landslide and see how safe it is.

    • How about it’s the fact you live in southern Humboldt or northern Mendocino. The slides are a circumstance of the geographics of the area.

    • Theres this thing you can blame called nature which includes land movement and the ability to remind us we’re not in control.
      Also a good reminder to have lots of extra supplies at home, the 101 could easily close in both directions at this point. Good training for when the big quake hits. It was closed for a week when confusion hill slid out majorly years ago, and we all survived.

      If this sounds awful to you, please consider moving somewhere else. Not to be mean but to me this is part of living in this amazing place. If you need the zip zip zoom zoom kind of life, head towards the city. I am not alone on the feeling that this isnt a bad thing to be cut off.

      And DONT take bell springs road!!! Especially if you dont know how to drive back roads. I almost got hit numerous times by idiots in mercedes who had no idea how to drive and ended up costing us lots of money in emergency services when they crash. I hope the chp is ready to fine those that use the road who arent residents.

    • Well maybe you need to talk to those airheaded environmentalist that fight every step to improve the highway system, especially the northern corridor of the state. Whenever there’s any talk about improving the system you have these idiots protesting. They did the same thing when they tried to widen the roadway going through the park.,..the trees took precedence for them. And you have those idiots in Sacrament that are leaders of these airheads. We have the infrastructure falling apart (Oroville Dam – Highway 101) and where have those idiots been putting the money budgeted for these critical projects…….illegal immigrants benefits. Don’t believe that? Then do a little research. This state is becoming the laughing stock of the country.

      • Might want to talk to those billionaires who pay no taxes. Even when Reagan was prez the rich paid 76%. Budgets for road repair and construction have withered while use and costs have skyrocketed. Blame the enviros for every clean glass of water you drink. Get out your checkbook or STFU.

  • Thank you for this timely information. I am leaving from Sacramento and was planning on traveling through there this morning. Will need to look for alternatives now.

  • Glad you posted. Quickmap doesn’t make it clear that it’s a full closure.

  • Holy waste of money and resource. I couldn’t believe they abandoned workers being preseent at a active slide. I hope nobody got hurt.

  • Anyone know if there’s a detour through this?

    • No, there is not a detour. They have closed Bell Springs Road.

    • Patience is a virtue

      First take a deep breath and realize theres nothing to do except make another plan. Its out of your control entirely, so it comes down to attitude towards it.
      I too got stuck years ago when the 101 was closed for a week and its frustrating, but way better than being on the highway and have a mudslide with car crushing boulders wash you away.

      Go back down to the 20 and head east. My advice is to get an actual paper map and see the ways to get north from the 20, the 5 being the obvious one. Head toward the 36, a gnarly drive itself, or check caltrans to see what hours 299 is open.
      Use your phone/gps for general directions then confirm on paper map. Its not a good idea to 100% trust google maps and certainly not good to follow gps.

      Whats that classic humboldt/mendo saying, “Shift happens”.

      The 3 tectonic plates meet on the coast by petrolia. Theres movement all the time under us.
      If there are any geologists reading this please do fill us in on our underground world and the infamous blue goo substrate 🙂

    • You can take 299 to I-5

    • Hey 36 or 299 are the detours. There’s no other choice.

  • All this rain the ground is heavy and unstable, one big shaker and we become landlocked…the redwood curtain closes

  • I was wondering if anyone might know where they are making traffic turn around at ?

  • stuck on the other side

    Kym… could you please update us regarding the times 299 is open to through traffic on weekdays? thanks.

  • Any update Kym?

  • not letin a slide stop me

    detour at Alderpoint at Garberville going south….

  • I just Google Mapped a route from Ukiah to Eureka. The route takes Bell Springs Road. There is no information provided by Google regarding the condition of this road.

  • It continues to amaze me how many experts at managing roads and mountains we have among RHBB followers! I am astounded and grateful for the expertise, and devoutly wish these enlightened ones were running “the government” so they could take their fair share of abuse, as the song goes, when nature points up the folly of men, as the other song goes. And by all means, let’s not pay our taxes, that’ll force them to open the road.
    So just a couple of years ago, it seems, people were saying there’s a government conspiracy to open up the North Coast to the military and big box stores. Now there’s a conspiracy to keep us isolated?
    Meantime — Thank you, Kym, for the timely updates! Hope you’re feeling better.

  • Big box was never promoted in humboldt, smoke another, and as far as running the government screw that too much poor me,sue you, vote for me , whose palm do I grease next bs going on everywhere, I’d be dead in the first week because I cut handouts and require people to produce or hit the road

  • Came over Bell Springs road last night at 2 am and if your driving a car or a small SUV it a no bueno!!
    One spot by the bell spring station that we barely made thru with a 4+4 full size pickup.
    The rest of the road is passable but it’s taken a beating this winter

  • Following this for updates!

  • Does anybody have any information on Usal Rd.? I have not been down there in a bunch of years and yes I know it’s slow, bring a chainsaw, it’s very slow, etc etc …but does it even go through anymore? I have stops in both Shelter Cove and Westport or I wouldn’t even be asking….

  • Tired of the crime

    Damn. My wife and kids are down in Santa Rosa for the Easter holiday weekend and can’t get
    Home now. Glad I wasn’t able to go with them, or I’d of not made it to work!! Hope caltrans is able to reopen faster than weds. The last time there was a slide they said possibly closed all week (about 5 weeks ago) but they managed to reopen to one lane traffic about 14 hours later and I got through… hope this happens again!

    • Came back to Santa Rosa yesterday via Hwy 36. From Humboldt county through Trinity, Shasta, Tehama, bit of Butte, Lake, Mendo, then Sonoma. Maybe not in that order, but that’s the trip. It’s a beautiful drive, but it’s a road trip, for sure.

  • Concerned citizen

    Alternative Route. Go through Covelo to the Mina Rd. Mina Rd to Zenia, to Garberville. Takes a few hours, but it works.

    • Oh gosh, I really hope people don’t take that route. For the time it would take even if the road was in decent shape you could probably drive down and around 20 to 5 to 299 and wait the hour delay and still save time. Okay maybe not quite that much, but please don’t drive that road. Ive just heard that it is impassable and you’re gonna have to drive bad roads for hours to find that out for yourself. Doesn’t make any sense. I definitely don’t want any more traffic on BellSprings but would take that over 2wds getting stuck way out there with no one to help them.

  • from the people who brought you the Bay Bridge

    So is it to open Wednesday , or does Cal Trans not know?

  • Safeway Fortuna is out of eggs among other things because their truck(s) couldn’t get through. Good thing I have alternatives. Not blaming Cal Trans, this is the life. 🙂

  • On the subject of slides, is there any word about the one on Hi 1 just west of Leggett? How much longer will Hi 1 be closed?

  • My mom is driving bell springs rd right now to Santa Rosa so it’s open and she said there are non 4wd cars on it as well.

    • The road is “closed” to non local traffic, technically cops could pull people over and make sure they’re local before they let them up the road. 2wd can make it if they’re okay drivers but your gonna damage your car at least a bit and possibly a lot if you have any problems. It’s an hour and 15 min on dirt that is torn up from the weather and 45 min on gnarly pavement that has been moving tons as well.

    • The road gets destroyed but all the extra traffic
      It makes it bareley passable for locals .
      Not a good idea

  • Hey Lone Ranger, sounds like you got it all figured out! Why don’t you saddle up & trot on down & move that pile of debris! Unbenounced to you, many, many people have been involved in not only keeping commerse moving but people safe. This slide is active & very dangerous. I applaud CalTrans & the contractors who worked day & NIGHT to keep people traveling safe. So while you sit behind your keyboard & complaine, next time you drive down the the roadway remember how it got there.

    • Apparently you have forgotten the road is closed, so how am I supposed to drive down the roadway, BTW I give zero f on wether i have to work day or night , not a big deal, and as far as dangerous give me a break, spend a day with me and you will be running for cover saying how I tried to kill you, sheesh man up

  • took Bell Springs last night,
    took for ever but wasn’t that bad only used 4 wheel for part of it

  • Friends took Bell Springs today and had no problems. I feel sorry for the people who use it all the time, because it’ll get a lot worse with so many cars on it. Alderpoint Road is taking a beating, too.

    • Carlos Benemann

      Took Bell Springs this AM. I have been on and of it sporadically for 35 years. Now it is worse than ever. Took 2 hours from Garbv. back to 101. Lucky it was not raining. At one spot, a small car got high centered and stuck; was reluctantly pulled out on a cable by a local (it blocked the whole road). 2.5 foot deep muddy ruts!! Better to go Hwy 20,5 and 36. During any rain Bell Springs is a suicide mission unless you know what you are doing and have a 4wheel drive. If you go after dark, kiss your loved ones goodbye. Got a kick out of a big trailer load of topsoil just being delivered to the New Harris store. Jeez, can’t they wait with that stuff?. Some idiot took a road hogging winnebago up, stopped and asked me “how much farther? I told him a bit gruffly the next turnaround was in about 3 miles and if he kept going forward his rig was toast. Triple A will not help you here. There was only a little hand scribbled sign at both ends saying “local traffic only”. But hey, if you really really gotta go, take your sweet time and enjoy the world class spectacular views.

      • I like bell springs road , it’s some good fun , not really that bad of a road , if you drive sensibly it’s no problem to make it across

  • they should take all that rock up bell springs road and fill all those pot holes and the the big one that will swallow your car and family up at adanac ranch.

    • No kidding, that one is nuts!! It’s just as the road used to get open and smooth and I finally get like it could go 25mph and then bam!! Big surprise the first time I hit that one, ouch, poor 4Runner, these trucks work so hard for us out here.

  • I took I-5 from Sacramento to Red Bluff today, then 36 West to Fortuna (159 mi). Took about 4.5 hours, from Red Bluff to Fortuna, towing a small utility trailer. Road is twisty and scenic. There are lots of spring newborns playing in the pastures, and both chicken and duck eggs are for sale along the route. Road just has one small single lane section with a traffic light. There is a lot of repair work and some bumpy sections. Just need to go slow. Saw about 500 vehicles traveling Eastbound. Westbound traffic didn’t seem as heavy. Wouldn’t recommend night travel on this route.

  • Sounds like Bell Springs Road might be blocked:

    https://lostcoastoutpost.com/chpwatch/2017/apr/17/00162/

  • Please don’t come up bell springs road if your not from out here .
    The road is failing badly and I really don’t wanna get the emergency page out to recover idiots bodies .
    It’s gotten extremely bad over last 24 hours from the extra traffic
    Your local volunteer fire department

  • I live in Garberville and work in willits and have taken Bell Springs several times. I drive a diesel 4×4 and am very familiar with offroad driving. I need to get to work in the morning but dont want a damn ticket just because i dont live on bell springs. Ive read the previous comments and im thinkin ill give it a go in the morning but any input on if i should think otherwise would be appreciated

    • Go slow and and avoid the potholes and your good to go. It’s not the worst road by far and if any of these locals needed to come down your road to get to work they wouldn’t care what you think anyway. Good luck

  • I took bell springs at 7:00 last night and made it through in my gmc no problem but that motor home that I passed wasn’t so lucky. I’m local my kids have school today so failure wasn’t an option

  • So I’ve read everyone’s comments and I just feel blessed that no one was hurt during the road slides and as for Bell Springs Rd. If u need to get by there to get to work, then drive carefully and best of luck. If it was me, I would appreciate the support

  • Lets go caltrans push that shit down the hill, we could have locals push it for you a lot faster sine you guys are on brake all day.

  • Looking at the picture this stretch of steep slope is badly engineered, guess what cal trans, you gotta go to the top of that hill and tier it off all the way down, or retain that geology with a nice concrete retaining wall, the same as confusion hill but bigger.
    Jerry Brown mismanaged all the road money to illegal sanctuary funds and certainly his crooked cronies.
    Stop with the band aid patches on this stretch of road and do it right.
    Humboldt needs this stretch right now for soil and fertilizer, … Them dope growing supplies are needed right now.

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