HWY 1 teils gesperrt

  • Hallo!

    An alle HWY 1 Fahrer!

    Angelika und Michael von "USA Rundbrief" habe mir einen super Tipp gegeben...
    naemlich den HWY 1 erst ab Half Moon Bay zu befahren.

    Zwischen San Francisco und Half Moon Bay ist die Strasse weggebrochen und nicht passierbar. top8
    Leider stehen Hinweisschilder anscheinend erst kurz vor der direkten Sperrung.



  • Ok, habe selber die Bestätigung gefunden.
    Hier der Text:

    Hwy. 1 closed indefinitely
    Slide area gives road engineers devil of a time
    Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Sunday, April 9, 2006

    Devil's Slide, the dizzying promontory perched high above the Pacific Ocean between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, stubbornly refuses to be tamed.

    Ever since highway engineers opened Highway 1 along the cragged cliffs of the San Mateo coast in 1937, the slide has been on the move -- slipping toward the ocean, trying to drag the road along or at least pelt it with rocks and muck.

    The slide's latest movement, triggered by this season's record rains, prompted Caltrans to close Highway 1 a week ago when sensors in the pavement detected significant creeping. A day later, the 350-foot hillside above the highway dropped two boulders, each nearly the size of a Mini Cooper, onto the road.

    After a closer look, Caltrans announced Thursday night that Highway 1 -- an important commute route and popular tourist road -- would probably remain closed at Devil's Slide for months.

    How many months, they're not ready to estimate. But the slide, they said, reminds them of 1995 -- when Highway 1 was closed for 158 days, snarling traffic, hurting businesses on the San Mateo County coast, and costing $3 million to fix.

    "It's going to be a long process to repair Devil's Slide,'' said Jeff Weiss, a Caltrans spokesman. "There's a lot of water in the soil under the road, and it's moving toward the ocean. And we can't really start repairing the road until it stops moving.''

    And that means months of hardship for coastal commuters who face slow-moving backups on mostly two-lane Highway 92. Merchants will have to persuade out-of-town customers to keep coming and locals to support them.

    To help ease the daily strain, some schools are opening as early as 6:30 a.m. so parents can drop off students before they trek over the hill to bayside jobs and are setting up extra bus stops. San Mateo County has declared a state of emergency to help coastal businesses affected by the closure qualify for emergency loans.

    "We have to get the point across that we are still open for business,'' said Charise McHugh, president of the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. "Devil's Slide affects locals more than visitors. (Highway) 92 is still open, and you can access Half Moon Bay regularly. Unless you're coming to Half Moon Bay during the commute, there should be no problem.''

    For commuters, however, the closure is a big headache.

    The 20-minute drive "over the hill" on Highway 92 has taken as long as an hour and a half during the morning and evening commutes this week, and many commuters are leaving earlier or later to avoid the bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go drive.

    "Fortunately, with my type of work, I can alter the hours,'' said Greg Nauman, a Montara facilities manager who works in Belmont, Palo Alto and Daly City. "I go in at 5 a.m. now to avoid the clog-up in Half Moon Bay, and come home at 2 p.m.''

    Some commuters, like Rod Chittenden, who does telecommunications work for Ericsson, decided the other day not to make the drive at all. Chittenden, sitting with his laptop computer at a window table in Montara's Cafe Lucca, about a mile from the highway closure, decided to telecommute.

    "I just changed my routine,'' he said. "This week I'm working here. Next week, I'll adjust my hours around commute hours.''

    Chittenden, despite the nature of his work, said he never really appreciated wireless Internet access until the highway was closed. But telecommuting, even from a cafe or a parking lot at the beach, has its limits.

    "After a while you get cabin fever from working at home,'' he said.

    Coastal businesses, particularly those like restaurants that rely on out-of-traffic customers, are already feeling the pinch from the Devil's Slide closure.

    "There is no business,'' shrugged Max Luis of Pizzeria del Sol Cafe in Moss Beach.

    At the Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. in Princeton-by-the-Sea, president Michael Laffen said that business has been slow but that it's tough to tell whether the rainy weather or the road closure is to blame.

    "We know there's an impact,'' he said, "and this weekend should give us an idea of what kind of impact.''

    The brewing company has cut its employee hours and is doing everything else it can to hold down expenses, he said, although it has avoided shortening its business hours. It's also taking some unusual steps, including sponsoring a contest that offers a free dinner for two to the person who correctly guesses the opening date of Highway 1 through Devil's Slide, and returning Devils Slide Ale, a darker ale, to the menu of house-brewed beers.

    "We'll be looking at other ideas to make lemonade out of this mess,'' Laffen said.

    The crashing boulders and subsiding soil have caused gaping tears in the pavement, while sections of the roadway have sunk 2 feet or more.

    Caltrans wants to drill boreholes 150 feet deep into Devil's Slide so that motion sensors can more accurately measure the slide's movement. Crews are also making plans to use explosives to remove loose rocks sitting high atop the steep hills overlooking the highway.

    "The road's closed, and there's no one around,'' said Weiss, "so we're going to use lots of explosives and take it all down.''

    Geologists and engineers are keeping careful watch over the slide, and are trying to figure out how to repair the highway once the sliding stops -- or at least slows.

    "We're going to do all we can to save the road,'' Weiss said, "but it's going to take months.''

    Of course, the big solution to the problem of Devil's Slide is under construction.

    After four decades of debating how to bypass the scenic slide zone, and about four years of planning and engineering, Caltrans in May began construction of twin tunnels and a bridge that will bypass Devil's Slide.

    The roughly mile-long project is expected to be completed by fall 2011 at a cost of about $280 million. The current stretch of the highway will then be turned over to San Mateo County for recreational use -- as it continues its march to the sea.

    "That will be a great day when (the tunnel) comes,'' said John Cunliffe, a Caltrans spokesman. "There will be a lot of hoopla.''

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