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One of Two Washed-Out Oregon Coast Roads May Open Soon

Published 12/13/23 at 4:45 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

One of Two Washed-Out Oregon Coast Roads May Open Soon

(Nehalem, Oregon) – Earlier in December, two roads in the Tillamook County region of the north Oregon coast were shut down after heavy rains caused land to give out beneath them. Now there are some updates on them from county officials. (Slide near Pacific City, courtesy TCPW)

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The scenic bend at Sandlake Road, just north of Pacific City, crumbled as some portions of the cliff fell away, creating a sizable detour between Pacific City and Tierra Del Mar. At Miami-Foley Road, a portion of the highway was washed out at MP 8.8, creating a headache for some commuters.

Tillamook County Public Works (TCPW) offered two updates on their progress.

At Sandlake Road, TCPW said there is still no date on when any restoration project can begin, but they have been able to meet with two engineers who looked at the situation.

The agency is looking for a short-term fix and then a long-term one.

“Public Works met with a geotechnical engineer on Thursday, December 7th who will determine a long-term solution for the slide and restore the road to two lanes,” TCPW said on social. “This is a complex site, and we want to address the cause of the failure. Public Works met with a second geotechnical engineer to determine if the lane could be shored up to support traffic. Both engineers will be working together.”

Work on Miami-Foley Road, courtesy TCPW

The spot is about 150 feet of road that is affected, with chunks of it falling as far as 30 feet. It is located just north of another slide that occurred here in 1999, causing the road to be relocated eventually.

On Monday, the agency met with Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and others, as much of the slide happened on land that is run by OPRD. All stakeholders were examining any potential construction and permitting issues.

At Miami-Foley Road, sizable progress on restoring that road is being made where Crystal Creek washed it out. The road itself was broken apart and cut through some 30 feet, but now Oregon coast officials are looking to install not simply an emergency bridge – but a permanent bridge is being fast-tracked. Article continues....

Full view of the slide at Sandlake Road

A disaster declaration was signed on December 6 by the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners, allowing the 50-foot bridge that was already planned for this spot later this summer to be accelerated.

In the next day or so, emergency vehicles will be able to cross the gap with beams set in this spot. That project is already ahead of schedule.

“Heavy equipment began rolling to the job site the morning of the 6th. Sunday, December 10th achieved a major milestone,” the agency said. “Twelve H-Piles (I-beams) were driven to an approximate depth of 80-ft. Six piles per each side. These piles are the foundation for a permanent bridge.”

More work will continue on the bridge in the summer, such as guardrails and the stream below.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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