About the only project the state Department of Transportation doesn’t plan to address in Curry County in the near future is the ever-sliding Hooskenanden Slide about halfway between Gold Beach and Brookings on U.S. 101.
The slide, which begins at the top of the mountain to the east, is under constant repair. It slides and sinks toward the ocean, creating cracks and dropoffs — some of which drivers have said feel like hitting a curb when taken at too fast a speed.
To fix it would involve sinking piles and ground anchors or tied-back piles — with a rough cost of about is $30 million to $43 million.
ODOT will, however, continue with plans to build sidewalks along the east side of Chetco Avenue between Easy Street and Parkview; that project is in the design state and construction is set for 2019-20.
Painting work on the Thomas Creek Bridge is ahead of schedule and expected to be done by August 2019, according to ODOT. The first part of the project involved making the state’s highest bridge more resilient to earthquakes.
A grant application process for the Safe Routes to School (SRS) program begins this fall, and requires a 40 percent match from Brookings. The city obtained SRS funding for improvements to Easy Street several years ago.
The Brookings-Harbor School District is required to install sidewalks at several other locations in accordance with the city’s deferred improvement agreement that was signed about 20 years ago, said City Manager Gary Milliman.
Deferred improvement agreements involved a developer deferring sidewalk construction until a project was completely built, but they often were passed on to subsequent owners who had no idea the deferrals were liened against the property. The city has since discontinued the deferrals, but is trying to enforce the agreements on some properties in town.
Milliman said that the school district paying to build the sidewalks could qualify for the local match portion of the cost.
In other ODOT news:
•ODOT has developed new technology to evaluate street conditions and prioritize repair work; city officials are curious if Brookings can contract for the service as its pavement management system is nine years old.
•ODOT is preparing its preliminary “fix-it” list for the 2021-24 State Transportation Improvement Program. A major focus will involve replacing old culverts in Brookings. The city has several old and undersized culverts along Chetco Avenue and hopes to get them included on the project list.
•ODOT is seeking public comment through mid-July on a new Public Transportation Plan. There will be an online open house whereby public comments can be submitted.