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Roadwork, Delays Now on Central Oregon Coast at Newport - and in the Future

Published 01/29/22 at 5:56 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Roadwork, Delays Now on Central Oregon Coast at Newport - and in the Future

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(Newport, Oregon) – Winter weather on the Oregon coast inevitably means sinkholes along Highway 101, where all that water combines with old slide zones to undercut and then damage sections of the highway. Along that section just north of Newport around Moolack Beach up to near Otter Crest, such sagging roadways are a common occurrence. They can drop several inches a day, according to ODOT.

Now, ODOT said one of the latest sets of sinkholes and angled road are getting a fix-up, as crews will begin regular maintenance of slide areas and sinkhole repair between milepost 133 and 136.5 this weekend, creating traffic delays the last weekend of January and into the first day of February. Paving should begin early week after the repairs on January 29 and 30, weather permitting.

“Travelers should expect long delays during the work, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.,” ODOT said. “There are no alternate routes.”

More work is still to be done in the area. Slides are a problem here, and drainage improvement work is coming to help slow the movement of the hillsides along this rolling part of the central Oregon coast. One large project several years ago was already completed at Beverly Beach, and two more are coming, including at Moolack Beach later this year and another at Johnson Creek, which is farther east of Newport in Lincoln County.

“Maintenance and construction projects are part of ODOT's commitment to providing a safe and reliable multimodal transportation system through meeting our strategic plan goals,” ODOT said.

The work zones will maintain access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities.

At Johnson Creek east of Newport, the work is already underway. With the repairs largely being done off the highway, there should be minimal impacts to traffic flow. Any interruption should be less than 20 minutes.

Work is being done Monday through Thursday in the area and expected to be finished in September.

Later in the year, at Moolack Beach, work will begin on US 101 at milepost 136.16 and 136.26. There, two culverts will be replaced to improve drainage. The idea is to slow the movement of the land.

“This area along U.S. 101 experiences frequent slide movement and can create abrupt edges on the roadway that require frequent grinding or paving to improve safety,” ODOT said.

The project will install a trench to improve drainage in the area.

This section of Oregon coast highway has had numerous sections of the road destabilized, with one area having to be rebuilt and the highway shifted eastward in the early 2000s.

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