The Ventura Freeway (US-101) was closed in both directions, due to two large mudslides in La Conchita area. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and its contractors have been working 24 hours a day to clear the route. The estimated opening is Friday, January 14.
The mudslides are up to seven feet high on the traveled way. After the mud is removed the drains must be cleared before the route can be reopened. The estimated reopening date may be revised when the condition of the drainage system is evaluated.
Motorists are advised to drive with caution and check road conditions before traveling. Motorists may call the California Highway Information Network” at (800) 427-7623 or Public Affairs at (213) 897-3656 for road condition information.
Damage estimates for the state's highways and interstate system is approximately $50 million, said CalTrans spokesman David Anderson.
Closed roads may not be as tragic as homes buried under mudslides, but maintaining adequate transportation routes is important to California's future. State and local governments should do everything within their power to get those routes reopened, states the Santa Maria Times.