ASTORIA, Ore. — Portions of Oregon’s U.S. 30 are closed through Wednesday, Nov. 30, and possibly longer following a major landslide that occurred on Tuesday, Nov. 29, about 20 miles east of Astoria.
Anyone traveling between the Portland Metro Area and the Northern Oregon coast this week are asked to use an alternate route.
“U.S. 26 is the best alternative. OR 47 and 202 are an option for passenger vehicles, but OR 47 has length restrictions on commercial vehicles,” according to a news release from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ORDOT). “Please do not use your GPS to detour on less developed roads. This can be dangerous for you, especially in these severe weather conditions.”
Heavy rainfall is a suspected cause of the landslide, ORDOT officials said. At least 10 truckloads of rock and mud slid onto both lanes of the highway, and material still is sliding down from the hillside.
This section of U.S. 30 crosses an area where landslides have long been part of the geology, often triggered by heavy rainfall, according to ORDOT. A photo provided by ORDOT showed a wrecked big rig under landslide debris, though there were no reports of serious injuries.
To reopen the highway, officials must clear the large amount of material and make sure the highway is safe for travelers.
Currently, ORDOT is:
- Clearing debris on the travel lanes.
- Clearing space along the hillside to catch any addition rocks, mud, and debris.
- Repair any damage to the road surface, guard rail and signs.
- Possibly set up a temporary barrier to catch material.
- Possibly set up temporary travel lanes providing safe distance for drivers.
“Emergency cleanup will begin Wednesday, Nov. 30,” the news release stated. “After that, our safety engineers and geologist will make sure the highway is safe to reopen. We have no estimated time for that, but it is likely to be no sooner than Thursday, Dec. 1.”
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