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Landslide closes Highway 101 at Port Orford

slide.jpg
Oregon Department of Transportation
Damage to U.S. Highway 101, 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.

A section of U.S. Highway 101 is closed in Southwest Oregon after a landslide early Monday morning caused the road to sink.

A nearly 200-yard section of the highway has dropped as much as 12 feet in some spots. The closure is just south of Port Orford, Oregon, between Bandon and Gold Beach. Oregon Department of Transportation spokesperson Matt Noble said Tuesday it was not yet clear when the road would reopen.

“Our geotechnical engineers are taking measurements of the affected area to see if the landslide has slowed down to a point where we can start work on a temporary road through the affected area,” Noble said. “But with more rain in the forecast this week, that may destabilize the slope even more, which could cause the slide to speed up again. So it’s still too early to estimate a reopening.”

Travelers going that way will need to find alternate routes. Those headed south will likely have to take Oregon Highway 42 at Southport to Interstate 5, and then U.S. Highway 199 back to Highway 101. The detour will add several hours to the trip. Those headed north would take Highway 199 to I-5 to Highway 42.

“We know that is a huge inconvenience for folks,” Noble said, “but the slide is in a remote stretch of U.S. 101 and there is no viable local detour.”

He said a contractor is at the scene of the closure with heavy equipment, bringing in rock and staging it at both ends of the landslide.

“So as soon as we get the OK from our engineers that it’s safe, they can quickly get to work on a temporary road through the affected area,” Noble said.

Copyright 2023 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

All lanes of U.S. Highway 101 were closed 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore., due to a landslide on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation /
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All lanes of U.S. Highway 101 were closed 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore., due to a landslide on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.
Another view of damage to U.S. Highway 101 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation /
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Another view of damage to U.S. Highway 101 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.
Damage to U.S. Highway 101, 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation /
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Damage to U.S. Highway 101, 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.
An aerial view of damage to U.S. Highway 101, now closed 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore., due to a landslide.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation /
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An aerial view of damage to U.S. Highway 101, now closed 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore., due to a landslide.
The buckled road surface of Highway 101 is seen after a slide closed the coastal route.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation /
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The buckled road surface of Highway 101 is seen after a slide closed the coastal route.
Crews take stock of damage to U.S. Highway 101  12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation /
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Crews take stock of damage to U.S. Highway 101 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.
A damaged U.S. Highway 101.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation /
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A damaged U.S. Highway 101.
A crack in the pavement of U.S. Highway 101, 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation /
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A crack in the pavement of U.S. Highway 101, 12 miles south of Port Orford, Ore.