Expect delays as crews repair highway damaged by landslide

Expect delays as crews repair highway damaged by landslide
ODOT crews remove logs and mud blocking Highway 34 following a slide in January 2012.

ALSEA, Ore. - Flaggers will be directing traffic into a single lane as crews begin slide repairs on Highway 34.

During January's heavy rains and flooding, a landslide undermined the road about 7 miles east of Alsea. That section of highway has three lanes of travel, including a climbing lane. As the result of the slide, the climbing lane was closed.

Travel will be restricted to a single lane as Oregon Department of Transportation crews begin preparations for a slide repair project.

Crews and machinery need access to the area now while preparing for the construction project to stabilize the slide, expected to begin in March.

Motorists should expect 5-10 minute delays during daylight and nighttime hours.

A $1.3 million construction project is tentatively planned to begin in March to repair the slide and slide damage, ODOT said.

A contractor will be selected to construct a buttress and shear key to stabilize the slide.

Buttresses and shear keys are geotechnical construction methods, ODOT said.

In simple terms, a buttress is a large man-made berm or wedge of fill material placed at the toe of the slide. A buttress increases the resisting forces and is intended to resist the slide from moving towards the toe of the slope.

A shear key is a trench excavated into the non-slide soil so that the new fill placed over the natural slope firmly keys into the existing soil.

The construction project is expected to be completed by end of March.

During construction, traffic on Hwy 34 will be open to two lanes of travel for most of the time, ODOT said.