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Highway 96 remains closed near Happy Camp after slides, winter storms

Caltrans District 2 said on Monday that the highway was 'not suited for traffic to safely pass through the area.'

Posted: Jan 13, 2020 2:20 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2020 3:08 PM

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. — Officials with Caltrans say that Highway 96 remains closed just west of Happy Camp in Siskiyou County after slides from the nearby hillsides reached the roadway, forcing them to close the route for most of the past week.

The closure site is about four miles west of Happy Camp, Caltrans said.

"The recent winter storms added snow and debris to an already overloaded area extending to the roadway," the agency said.

Crews are still working to move debris from the slide area out of the way while continuing to monitor slide activity.

"The road will reopen once Caltrans and Contractor Roger Brown Construction deem safe for everyone involved," Caltrans said. "Thank you for your patience and understanding."

A photo taken at the scene on Monday, January 13 after the slide became active showed a mix of mud and rocks beginning to pile up and flow over the barrier along the highway about four miles west of Happy Camp. The road was shut down around 12:30 p.m. on that day, with Caltrans saying that a contractor determined the situation was "not suited for traffic to safely pass through the area."

Although crews briefly were able to reopen the roadway to a single lane a few days later, the winter storms forced them to close it again. Caltrans officials indicated that current weather conditions in the area had been keeping the slide active.

Highway 96 saw intermittent closures in December after slides blocked part of the roadway.

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