Traffic Headache on North Oregon Coast Road Continues
Slide work photos courtesy ODOT
(Oceanside, Oregon) – The little village of Happy Camp – near Oceanside and Netarts – is not such a happy place right now. A slide has interrupted traffic along Highway 131, that winding road between Happy Camp and Oceanside, causing some major detour headaches if you want to get from Tillamook to either Oceanside or Netarts, and completely blocking off the two-mile direct route between Oceanside and Netarts.
The Happy Camp Slide is located between Oceanside and Netarts on Highway 131 just north of Happy Camp Road. Oceanside residents have had to use the Cape Mears Loop Road as a detour during the slide repair work since early July.
Lou Torres, a spokesman for ODOT on the north Oregon coast, said there are still a few weeks left for this project. Initial estimates were that the project would end around July 26, but it’s turned out to be much more complex and
It is a much more complex project than usual and some surprises awaited ODOT and geologists.
“ODOT might take two years to plan and build such a project,” Torres said. “But this was an emergency and we didn't have time to handle this as a normal project.”
The slide turned out to be more serious than previously thought, and it required that ODOT work on it now, during the drier season, because of future dangers the slide presented.
It required draining the area of water, excavating several hundred tons of material and more.
“What slowed down the contractor for two weeks was the amount of water that kept flowing from the hillside in to the area where they were excavating.” Torres said. “The contractor had to establish a ‘de-watering’ process with the drilling of several wells that helped to capture much of the water. During this period, the slide activity accelerated and we decided to go to 24-7 operations. This has been a complex and challenging project.”
Currently, the only way into and out of Oceanside is taking Bayocean Road from Tillamook and then going south on the Three Capes Loop, past Cape Meares Lighthouse. Netarts is still accessed by Highway 131 from Tillamook.
Looking towards Oceanside
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