[UPDATE 4 p.m. Friday] Good News! Hwy 1 Could Open Tomorrow or the Next Day; Hwy 101 Could Open as Soon as Monday

Hwy 101

Aerial photo of the slide blocking Hwy 101 by Mikal Jakubal

Good news for travelers of both Hwy 1 from Leggett to the coast and of Hwy 101 from Humboldt to points south. Both highways are getting unexpectedly early possible reopening dates.

According to Senator Mike McGuire, “Hwy. 1, near Leggett, is expected to open on Friday or Saturday to one lane traffic control (weather permitting).” The road has been closed for 99 days and is a major route to the coast.

One of the slides that has kept Hwy 1 closed for 99 days.

One of the slides that has kept Hwy 1 closed for 99 days. [Photo by Caltrans was taken in late March]

And, according to Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman, who talked to Senator McGuire before talking to the Redheaded Blackbelt, Caltrans is “shooting to open Hwy 101 on Monday.”

Allman said that the contractor will begin working “24/7” tomorrow during the expected good weather.

McGuire was less direct in a tweet. He wrote, “Massive cleanup effort underway on Hwy 101 (north of Leggett). Closure anticipated to last thru weekend. @CaltransDist1 pushing hard.”

Caltrans is not committing outwardly to Monday but they posted on their Facebook page, “Caltrans is committed to reopening this “Lifeline of the north coast” as quickly and safely as possible…Our contractor is also arranging for additional equipment and personnel to begin working a second 12-hour shift as soon as it is confirmed it is safe to work at night.”

Hwy 101

Another aerial photo of the slide blocking Hwy 101 by Mikal Jakubal

UPDATE 4 p.m. Friday: Hwy 1 From Leggett to the Coast Set to Reopen This Weekend, Says Caltrans

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48 comments

  • Ummm, finally got a response from the powers that be. Yea. Dangerous conditions, be safe travelers

  • That would be amazing by Cal Trans. Rain predicted every day next week may have something to say about it, though !!! I’m ready for another 5 years of drought .

    • Kindly move along...

      Please dont EVER wish for a drought, watching the river and forests die was one of the worst feeling ever. I mean really? I will be praying even harder for more rain hearing that!

      For the first time, the tribes cannot fish salmon this season due to such low numbers. From numbers so high you could literally cross the river on the backs of the fish, to almost none left. The myths are told that when the salmon die off so shall we, they are the building block of our ecosystem, feeding everything.
      So wishing for drought means wishing death on many many species and ecosystems, including the kelp forests going extinct in the ocean right now.

      We live in a temperate rainforest, you cant have healthy redwood ecosystem without the rain, you cant have both.
      If you dont like living in the rain then consider living in a different part of CA. If you moved here 4-5 year ago then you might not know that wet winters are normal here. The 101 was closed at confusion hill for a week before the bridge was built, in 97 the superstorm shut down HSU & blocked every way in or out of humboldt for a few days.
      If thats something you cant handle then somewhere else is probably best for you. If the idea of having to live off deer and whats grown in the garden is something you cant handle in an emergency situation, then not a good fit. We are a rural place, not some hipster playland.
      When the big quake hits we will be cut off, but drones can fly supplies in these days and we have plenty of alternate forms of transpo, ie quads and horses.
      And small airplanes.
      We used to joke that you paid your keep to humboldt by getting through hard winters, no free rides! Spring will be incredible and the rivers more swimmable.
      Theres still folks who dont mind being cut off. Wanting a drought so you can drive a certain way is just selfish and not what its about here.

      • kindly move along. get a grip on your self. why so serious.

      • I think they were joking, lighten up, but global warming is here to stay, so you may need to switch up your game.

      • I absolutely love every word of your response, @kindlymovealong. It’s all too true and sure maybe they were talking lightly about it but it is a serious situation and very loaded. When I first moved here it rained so much every winter and just didn’t stop. We have been blessed with sunshine lingering but it pays a price that some don’t know or think of. I pray we get the rain we need to fill us up again. And thank you for your serious response.

      • Take a deep breath !! I was just making a point that we have had enough rain this year and want to see a little sun and dry ground!!

      • Thank you! I appreciate that comment so much. I am sick of rain and gloom and slides, but I am GRATEFUL to be sick of them — I thought it would never happen again. And you are right — not being mean or critical — but it is only realistic to remember that this is a rain forest even though it hasn’t seen much rain in years to come. If you want reliable sunshine and dry weather all year, this is just not the right place for you.

        • obviously, I mean in years gone by, not much rain. May not be much in years to come, either. Who knows? I’m just grateful for the rain we got.

  • Those photos show the amount of earth well. Look how small that equipment looks compared to the pile of dirt and rocks! A dump truck load from that would be like a teaspoonful from a sink full of earth. Kind of a large sink, I think. (imaginations may vary). Regular size, standard teaspoon, but large sink. I think that’s about the size of it.

  • So…just keep driving Bells Springs until then? Cool- Got it!

  • Dan Gjerde, Mendocino County Supervisor, District Four

    CalTrans estimates 7,000 cubic yards (or at least 500 dump truck loads) of material fell onto Highway 101. Their contractor has already removed 1,500 cubic feet, according to State Senator McGuire.

    • That’s great!

    • So there it is: a dump truck here is roughly equivalent to about one standard teaspoon emptying a sink (of some largish size) full of dirt.

      To all those working on getting these roads open, a big thanks.

      And when this is over, may all our teaspoons runneth over.

    • Covelo or busted

      Dan Gjerde….Cubic YARDS?… 500 DUMP trucks? ….[How many cubic/ FEET/ YARDS does each hold?]…1,500 cubic FEET? You are obviously an engineer…Is there any way you could throw some METRIC TONS in there to make the equation even HARDER to comprehend! …. Cal Trans never make a statement they could be held accountable for….Pave Bell springs RD. with the rubble?…. Im sure we could get a grant and do a feasibility study.

  • They should haul the rock to bell springs and fix that road with it. Two birds one stone….

  • It is good to hear they are making the opening of these highways a priority. But I will believe it when I see it.

  • Seems wrong for the politicians to contradict what Caltrans is saying. Today the slide was actively moving and working safety is number 1 priority, so I doubt they’ll be working 24/7 immediately. I’d check Caltrans Facebook or Twitter for most up to date and realistic assessments.

  • Cool photo from the air, the ruts left by rolling rocks are pretty impressive!

  • Well this isnt exactly a job to retire on although Coltrane is milking the shit out of every job. Lets keep those hands out of your pickets while your on the Damn clock caltrans lets do this, git r done.
    And why not push this shit down to the river, its apparently where it would have slid down to naturally, but surely some,liberal [edit] would want to argue me on gravity here, guaranteed.
    This needs to get fixed the right way this time around.
    Lyn you might want to find out who is engineering this north if laytonville slide and do some investigatuvr journalism for your beloved readers.
    Dont teabag us, find out, that might just make cal trans consider actually doing what they get paid for and being held accountable isn’t a bad thing with millions of tax dollars being spent
    Thanks red!

    • Oh yeah lets make sure whatever salmon are left in an already over silted river dont survive. Awesome idea!
      Clean water for the folks downstream, ah screw em, we need to drive. Screw nature, we must be in control (thumps chest with fists gorilla style)
      U say so much about yourself using the term liberal gaytard. Way to insult a few subsects of society at once.

      Lets see you out there in some heavy equipment, mr armchair engineer.
      I would imagine dumping in the river could also cause river levels to rise there which could undermine the road on that side.
      They would still have to scoop up the rock and turn the machine to dump it down so might as well dump it in a truck. Do you see how small the truck is in comparison to the slide???? Its not like a big snowpile they can just scoot out of the way.

  • What the heck? I am not a corner away from the Highway 1 slide and have not heard a single dump truck whizzing by. What a crock of bull.

  • Confusion hill is now allowed to just slide into the river whats the difference ?

  • “Open as soon as Monday”

    Really?! Who did that calculation? That’s an outright lie to try and appease the Senator.
    Laughable.

  • Sometimes I read the comments to get more infofrom neighbors .sometimes I read the comments and just see ding dongs from I don’t know where…..

  • Thanks to Mikal Jakubal for some clear shots of the slides. These really show the extent of the slide. Nice drone work!

  • That is such good news especially for Highway 1. I guess it took raising a ruckess to get attention like in the letter to whomever. They have waited much too long for it to open and businesses were suffering. Good news for 101 too. I am not inconvenienced about it being closed as I don’t have anywhere to be at this point but too many to count have been affected by this closure. I hope CA (especially Humboldt) can recover from having all these damaged roads after the hard rains we have had. So much money needed and manpower to handle all the damage as it is. It is time for the rains to stop also.

  • Well, CalTrans is now saying, not so fast. From their face book page, posted at 10:30 this morning:

    Work is progressing at both ends of the slide north of Leggett in Mendocino County this morning. We’re evaluating whether the north end of the slide is stable enough to safely begin night work, which will allow our contractor to work around the clock to reopen the highway.

    Additional specialized equipment will be airlifted in next week to assist in removing debris from the roadway.

    The highway will not be reopened this weekend, and there are no local detours available. Travel plans should include detouring over onto Interstate 5 via Routes 20, 36, or 299 to loop back towards U.S. 101 on the other side of the closure. Motorists should anticipate these detours to take upwards of 7 hours.

    At this time, our best estimates point to a reopening of U.S. Highway 101 to one-way traffic control sometime mid-to-late next week.

  • Wow what a job!!Mother nature is pissed.

  • Global warming folding right in front of us.

  • Just saw chp at bell springs rd and alder point rd checkpoint scanning the hillside with high power binoculars in between vehicle inspections 😯 . hope they get 101 cleared fast

  • 50 percent of that material could be pushed off the bank with no future problems and it would take half the time.

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