Landslide cleanup on Highway 30 near Astoria continues

ASTORIA, Ore. — Crews with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) are continuing to clean-up from a landslide on Oregon’s north coast between Astoria and Clatskanie that has closed more than 30 miles of Highway 30 since last Tuesday night.

ODOT said one lane reopened on Sunday afternoon with flaggers controlling traffic both directions. The highway will close again on Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as crews continue their work in the daylight. One lane of the highway will open nightly at 4:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. indefinitely.

Those driving at night are encouraged to be extra cautious, slow down, watch for flaggers and expect a delay getting through the work zone.

“It is too dangerous and complicated to run traffic during the day,” said ODOT Maintenance District 1 Manager Mark Buffington. “We are attempting to bring in another team of scalers tomorrow hoping to double our efforts.”

Due to the hazardous nature of the work, ODOT says it must be done during daylight and coordinated with cleanup efforts to keep crews safe. Workers are moving down the cliff side to remove large sections of loose rock, clear all debris and make sure the road is safe to travel.

Officials say they do not have an estimate for reopening U.S. 30 in the daytime or when more than a single could be open.

The landslide happened late Tuesday night. It started about 100 feet above the road and was likely caused by heavy rain and wind, ODOT said. The slide is about 110 feet wide and sent rock and mud onto both lanes of traffic. A semi-truck drove into the slide, but the driver was uninjured.

To open one lane on Highway 30, ODOT said two sections of the hill where the landslide occurred needed to be removed because they’re on the verge of sliding and are large enough — roughly the size of two cars — to block the entire highway when they fall. Crews also needed to clear enough debris from the road and repair any pavement damage to open up a single lane of traffic, giving space for flaggers and for crews to keep working to clear debris and catch any new, smaller slides.

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