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Road Near Newport Buckles, Crews Now Work on Oregon Coast Highway That's Still Shifting

Published 2/01/24 at 7:45 p.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Road Near Newport Buckles, Crews Now Working on Oregon Coast Highway That's Still Shifting

(Newport, Oregon) – Not even two weeks ago this was a normal, stunning Oregon coast drive. The road between Newport and Depoe Bay – the portion of Highway 101 right around Beverly Beach – gave way to lots of the usual, gorgeous views. (Photo courtesy ODOT)

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Now, the road is just...well...giving way.

Recent rainstorms caused loose soil beneath the road and it recently buckled severely about milepost 133. One social media post showed a nasty crack across the road and a sudden dip, which was hard to see if you were heading north. That caused vehicles to actually catch air a little and hit the lower section rather hard. If you were coming north, it was also easy to cause damage going over that cracked road.

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has been working on it for the last two days now, but it's still a shifting road requiring a much lower speed limit.

ODOT said recent heavy rainfall all along the Oregon coast created this sunken grade, with crews now on the scene between milepost 133 and 134.

They are working against nature, however, as the road keeps moving on them as rain continues to saturate the ground. The area is currently covered in gravel, which requires crews to constantly keep redoing the road to keep it drivable.

“The speed will be lowered by 20 mph, making the speed limit through this area 35 mph instead of 55 mph,” ODOT said.

The Beverly Beach area between those mile markers is hit the hardest, ODOT said.

“As a temporary solution, we’ve applied gravel to the impacted section of the road to make it more stable,” ODOT said. “Since the ground is still moving, we need to wait for drier conditions before we continue to repair the road. This speed reduction is essential for the safety of drivers and work crews.”

However, the road keeps changing faster than repairs can be made.

When traveling through this part of the Oregon coast, ODOT said you should stay alert and be vigilant for any changes in road conditions.

“Exercise Caution: Watch for work crews and navigate the area carefully,” ODOT said.

Above all, stick to that 35 mph speed limit.

This area is prone to such landslides and shifts. In 2008, a winter storm took out six or more feet of cliff and road in some places around Beverly Beach, which caused ODOT to eventually move the road a bit farther inland and build another bridge eventually.

For further information on landslides, see ODOT's Unstoppable Slopes, Landslides, Debris Flows, and Rockfall

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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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