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Removal Of Willamette Forest Rockslide Expected To Be Completed Monday

Crews are nearly finished removing a rockslide off a forest service road in the Willamette National Forest east of Eugene.

December’s rockslide blocked a significant stretch of Forest Service Road 19, a byway that runs by the popular Terwilliger Hot Springs.

Chiara Cipriano from the Forest Service says that this rockslide was particularly harsh.

"This is one of the largest one’s I’m aware of on the Willamette national forest" Cipriano explains.

Monday’s progress marks the second and final phase of the slide’s removal process. The first was what’s called scaling, when workers hang from ropes and knock any remaining rocks loose.

Cipriano says boulders are being pushed into the nearby Cougar reservoir:

"They’ve gone through all the necessary permitting to figure out if we push the rocks into the reservoir is it going to have a detrimental effect on fish, they’ve done a bunch of studies to figure out if that was the appropriate action. Now that they’ve figured out what they were doing it’s been a very fast removal of rocks."

The rocks are expected to be cleared by Monday, and the service will then assess damage to the byway. They are hoping to have the road open for travel by mid-August.