BROOKINGS, Ore. —
UPDATE: Highway 101 is back open to both north and south traffic at the Hooskanaden slide area north of Brookings, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Traffic will no longer be limited to a single lane through the area.
"Contractors paved the highway last week and striped the travel lanes this afternoon," ODOT said.
The massive slide closed the roadway for weeks beginning in late February, followed by a period of nearly two months where only one lane was open for traffic.
(Updated 5/6/19 at 6:20 p.m.)
INITIAL REPORT: Following a massive slide that destroyed a quarter mile of Highway 101 north of Brookings, the roadway was entirely closed down for nearly two weeks.
Now, despite reopening the highway to a single lane of traffic, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) says that it could be several more weeks before the roadway is paved again — allowing for both lanes of travel.
"U.S. Highway 101 will remain limited to a single lane with flaggers near Hooskanaden Creek, about 12 miles north of Brookings, until early April," ODOT said in a statement on Wednesday.
Crews from ODOT and Tidewater Contractors opened the highway to a single lane over gravel on March 9 after ground movement finally began to slow.
Transportation officials said that ground movement at the slide location has now slowed to a few inches per day, thanks in part to good weather the first two weeks of March. But with rain in the forecast over the next week, geologists will watch to see if additional water affects ground movement.
“We want to get through the next week or two and see how the hillside responds,” ODOT District Manager Darrin Neavoll said. “If all goes well, we plan to pave this section of highway in early April and open it to two lanes of traffic.”
ODOT said that the speed limit through the "temporary alignment" in the slide area will be set to 45 mph through spring and summer.
Officials are beginning to design a project to rebuild the roadway to its original alignment, which would include three lanes and shoulders. Construction for the rebuilding effort is planned for late summer.