[Update 7:25 p.m.] Caltrans Still Can’t Put a Date on Reopening 101 Near Leggett

Photo provided by Caltrans

From Caltrans District 1:

U.S. 101 CLOSURE UPDATE 4/19/17 6:30 PM:

Due to continuing slide activity, Caltrans cannot yet put a date on reopening U.S. 101 north of Leggett in Mendocino County.

Our contractor began work today, removing 82 dump truck loads of material and removing a small portion of the rock fall fence, but had to shut down early because the slide became too active to continue safely. They intend to resume tomorrow, working 12-hour long days, 7 days per week, until the highway is reopened. The progress of the work, however, will be dependent on the weather and the continuing movement of the slide.

Safety is Caltrans #1 goal for our workers, our contractor’s workers, and the traveling public. We know that the closure is a hardship for many, and we are committed to safely reopening the highway as quickly as we can.

Update 7:25 p.m.: From the California Highway Patrol:

Due to increase in vehicle traffic and number of vehicles becoming stuck or disabled, the CHP and CalTrans will be restricting Bell Springs Road to local traffic only. The CHP and Caltrans are working together to come up with the best plan to reopen US 101 in the safest and most timely manner.

Once again the suggested alternate routes of travel north and south around the closure are either SR-299, SR-36 or SR-20 to Interstate 5. Bell Springs Road is restricted to local traffic only.

There have been reports of travelers being routed by their GPS to take Usal Rd. around the closure. Please do not attempt to try and take Usal Rd. which is a 4×4 trail/road and,, in its best condition during the summer, is a very challenging road. Do not attempt to take Usal Rd.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work together with Caltrans to reopen US 101



  • I guessed a swag at 142 dump trucks. I think I guessed way too low. Go Caltrans.

  • And Bell Springs Road is soon to be clogged with the wrecks of little city cars, RV’s, and soil ladden semi trucks. Packs of stranded outsiders will be huddled around campfires eating the last few french fries from Willits. Ghosts of dead travelers haunting the ruts and ditches clawing at those little prius tires, trying to drag you off the road. Be safe bitches!

  • I’ve been driving Bell Springs w/ studs and dragging chain, spinning tires whenever I can. Sooner we make that road impassable the better! Go out at night and divert water onto the road- let’s kill that route!!

    • The public has spoken. Vandalize the road and do not repair bell springs road.

    • That’s just rude. There are people that live in leggett and work in Garberville. Let’s not make it any harder for the locals than it already is, with all the extra traffic and the weather. Some people don’t want to drive it, but they have to. Enforcement of locals only is what’s needed.

      • the people in leggett and garberville need to stop telling the prius folks to come this way .
        the road is fucked
        im ready to throw out spike strips

  • Get it done. Pretend it’s Jerry’s Bullet Train!

  • Get it done!!! Just pretend it Jerry’s Bullet Train and throw all the money and manpower needed to do the job.

  • Wow usal road??? Thats dangerous, especially with little to no cel service for people who are used to it 24/7.
    To the city folk visiting, yes its true, we still have many areas that have no cel reception, which a lot if us dont mind.

    That roads barely usable with a quad and i imagine there are multiple trees down across it right now. There was just a flood warning for shelter cove today, there was between 1 to 2 inches in a short amount of time so usal is most likely crazy.
    You are seriously risking your well being if you try that route.

    Look if you want an alternate route, listen to what everyones saying and take the 20 or 36 or 299 (when open) to the 5 and around. Its a pain but better than getting caught in a landslide with big boulders pushing you down the cliff. Carpool if you can, with 2-3 drivers it goes faster.

    THERE IS NO ALTERNATE ROUTE BESIDES THE 5, how much clearer does it need to be said.

    If there was a viable alternate route, it would be listed by chp or caltrans or one of our many local media sources or a local here. When we say bell springs road is in bad shape, its not just a bunch of potholes. Its serious road damage.

    I dont get why google maps wont change it. Does cal’trans or chp need to contact them?
    Hey bell springs locals if chp is not maintaining a prescence on either end, perhaps its up to residents to sit there, im glad to help. Its not fair to have your ability to get home/medical services because people are driving the road who shouldnt be.

  • We just came home on 36, friggin nightmare with all the extra traffic that has no clue. Snow was accumulating on South Fork Mtn with no warning or plow trucks…that should get interesting tonight.

  • Do not use bellsprings rd, residents here are sick of city driver trying to kill us, stay home…

    • Sadly for you, as long as the counties pay for its maintenance, you have no say who uses it. So get sick. Or break out your wallet and pay for the maintenance yourself, you self centered …. .

    • Why don’t you stay home too.

  • bell springs road is failing badly .this is gonna fuck everyone on south bell sptrings

  • Maybe because 101 is the mainline it will be cleared a lot faster than the fiasco at Big French Creek on 299?? Just saying…

  • To those who have come across on both 36 and 299 recently, which of the 2 routes is better? I would think 299. I assume most of the traffic is on 36. Thanks!

    • I took 36 W/B on Monday mid-afternoon. Most of the traffic was E/B. I went slow, and took it easy, and overall everything went fine. The pavement had some rough areas, and one jackass passed on a double-yellow. Took about 4.5 Hours to go 159 mi. There wasn’t snow on the road when I went through, but there is now.

      I don’t have any recent experience traveling on 299 during the current conditions.
      But overall, I prefer 36 to 299, even if 299 was clear sailing, because 299 has speeds in sections that are way too fast for me. I also hit a bear there before. So generally, I avoid 299.

      The main problem I have recently observed is that some people think they can take an alternate route, and still keep the same travel time as if they took the main route. That makes them go way too fast, and creates dangerous conditions for everyone.

      This is just my opinion. I’ve made the East-West journey, on both routes, about 100 times over the last 37 years.

      • 299 is in good shape. The place where they are fixing the slide is the only hangup. Just try to time it to arrive on the hour. It takes about 1 1/2 hoursto the slide fix from Arcata driving reasonably. When I went they let the west bound traffic go through first and that took about 10 minutes at 9:00 am. The drive is really leisurely IMO. If you are trying to get to Williz or Santa Rosa it is a big hassle and a bummer and hugely time consuming but such is the price for living on the North Coast. About 9 hours from Garberville to SF.

        I would also suggest Bell Springs if you have to get from Garberville to Willitz or Ukiah (If going to SF then 299 is the way to go*.). You just have to travel really slowly, carefully, four wheel drive (Two wheel will make it but it is sketchy) and if it is rainy there probably is fog and visibility is about 10 feet. I would not go if it was not absolutely no other choice, emergency, a schedule that absolutely cannot be changed situation.

        *36 might be a little tiny bit faster than 299 but the stress and possible snow and curvy slow road, terrible drivers and irritating traffic is not worth it for me.

  • The problem is city folks with GPS navigation units…yeah, please do take Usal Rd

  • I took bell springs rd late Wednesday afternoon and it is in great condition for a mostly dirt road. I’m used to much worse. If someone is going to take it, you do not need four wheel drive, drive slow, be courteous to other drivers. There are many sections narrow enough for only one vehicle


      You Do Not Need 4×4 I just drove it in my honda

    • It is NOT!!! in great condition. Pot holed muddy and very slow. It is passable by 2WD but it is in very bad shape. What is it? About 25 miles? It takes well over an hour (More like an hour and a half in the rain and fog. Plus you should not go faster than that even with no rain and fog.) from 101 to Alderpoint Rd.

  • To get to Usal road, to go north, a person would have to go through Fort Bragg/ Westport. Can’t get there from hwy 101.

  • Glad I’m a homebody. Looks like it might be easier to put a tunnel there.

  • Parker Schnabel, of the Gold Rush TV show, would have that slide cleared in about 2 hours. Just saying. 🙂



  • Stuck local needs help. Stuck in Garberville since Sunday. Live in Leggett and need to get to work at Boomers in Laytonville. Is there anyone who can take a passenger over bell springs?

  • Bells spring is your road bells spring is my road. From murder mountain to the one oh one. Don’t let the scum bag growing locals try and scare you just flip em the bird and keep on driving. Bells spring was made for you and me

  • Doesn’t anyone have anything better to do than argue over a road?? Haha last time I checked people can only stop u from doing something if u let them or they are able to force it. How about you all stop sitting around arguing behind your screens and actually go out and do something about it. Who’s gonna stop u? The pigs? That’ll go well in court rite? Since you pay for the road with your taxes. Kinda like it should be enter at ur own risk. Like since when was your safety up to someone else? If u want to risk it then do it. You risk ur life everyday the second u get into a vehicle, on bell springs road or highway 101. Either way u should be aware of the possible threats either rd has then keep that in mind while your driving. And people who live on bell springs rd if u don’t like the way someone is driving how bout you stop having people fight ur battles for u (a.k.a.🐷🐷🐽🐽) And do it the ol fashioned way, [edit]You all of bunch of cry babies.

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