Rock Slide Still Blocking Road Because of Government Shutdown

The Bureau of Land Management cannot clean a rock slide on Galice Road because they are temporarily closed due to the government shutdown.

Posted: Jan 22, 2018 5:24 PM

Galice, OR. -- The Bureau of Land Management cannot clean a rock slide on Galice Road because they are temporarily closed due to the government shutdown. The rock slide is located near mile post 16, which is in BLM's jurisdiction. 

The rock slide has been on the road for more than 24 hours. Multiple local agencies, like the Josephine County Sheriff's Office and the Josephine County Department of Public Works, are working together to try to contain the rock slide. 

Today Public Works sent a plow to free up a little space for cars to move by. 

"I believe the sheriff went out there with some signs and cones as well. We can't leave a known hazard there. We're going to do as much as we can to mitigate the issue if we can't just get it off the road," says Rob Brandes, the Director of Josephine County Public Works. 

Brandes says his department has worked with BLM and ODOT before to make sure the roads are clear. He says smaller rock slides like this allow agencies to go out of their jurisdictions to help out. 

"If it's a larger slide that was going to be thousands of hours and dollars then I would certainly have to talk to my board about how far they wanted us to proceed on that," says Brandes. 

Brandes says the rock slide was too big for one plow to handle, and they will need permission to send a crew out there. He says during unique circumstances like this, agencies rely on each other to pick up the slack. 

'We do try to help each other. Same thing when it snows. If we're going out to the valley we'll tell ODOT that we're plowing or deicing even though we're going over one of their roads. There's a lot of cooperation that goes on," says Brandes. 

The BLM voice-mail says they are out of the office for the duration of the government shutdown. It says they will check messages and emails once they are back in the office. 

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