Feb. 24, 2021 — The Feb. 12 accident involving an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) vehicle on Highway 101 at mile marker 170, has forced the closure of an extended portion of the busy and potentially dangerous roadway. The closure is being conducted to allow for the removal of a large crane which was working on the roadside approximately two miles south of Yachats and tumbled off of the steep cliff which runs alongside Highway 101.
Work is now underway to stabilize the rocks and debris which fell along with the multi-ton crane. The area immediately surrounding the accident will require a great deal of preparation before the removal is attempted.
Not only has the accident slowed down travel along the seaside roadway, it has forced the temporary halt of bus trips to and from Yachats, which were provided by the Florence-Yachats Connector, operated by Rhody Express and owner Josh Haring.
Haring has had the contract to provide services to and from Yachats since the inception of the route in 2019. He is a member of the Florence Transportation Advisory Committee and is considered one of the experts in the field of local transportation needs and trends.
“The Florence-Yachats Connector was temporarily suspended beginning Feb. 17 because of the Highway 101 closure between Florence and Yachats. The service will resume as soon as the roadwork is finished on the highway,” Haring said. “We recognize the inconvenience this causes our riders and will return to regular service as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to provide service updates about anticipated restart date.”
ODOT is handling the recovery and is hoping the removal of the crane, which tumbled from the highway to the rocky beach below, will be accomplished this week.
According to Angela Beers Seydel, ODOT Public Information Officer, ODOT will be posting updates on the progress of the removal as it is known.
“The closure runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily for about a week. Traffic will be flagged through the construction site at mp 170.5 at night, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. People who live, work, or are staying between the closure barriers and the construction site can travel from the north or south barrier to their location on either side of construction, but not through the construction site itself during the closure,” she said.
Both Haring and Beers Seydel said the exact timeline of the removal and reopening of the impacted section of Highway 101 is not known at this time, and for the latest information interested individuals should go to linklane.org/ or www.facebook.com/FlorenceYachatsConnector/.
For more information on the status of the impacted area on Highway 101, check www.TripCheck.com or call 5-1-1 for the current road status.