A slippery slope:  The Devil’s Slide in 1995


Posted by on Sun, April 9, 2006

The most recent closure of Devil’s Slide was also the worst.  On January 20, 1995, the Slide began slipping again, moving at times as quickly as a foot a day.  It would take Caltrans 150 days and nearly $1 million to fix it this time.  The drive from Montara to Highway 280 would take up to 2 hours.

It happened just as Coastsiders were fighting hardest to keep Caltrans from building a freeway bypass through the mountains to go around the Slide.  Many people still believe that Caltrans dragged out the repairs to the Slide in order to force the Coastside the accept the bypass. You can hear echoes of that struggle in the expression of concern that Caltrans isn’t moving quickly enough in 2006.

Mike Wong, owner of Spring Mountain Gallery in Half Moon Bay provided us with these dramatic photos of the damage in 1995. The originals are only a little larger than the ones you see here, but you can open them by clicking on the images.

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Mike Wong
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Mike Wong

Click on the link to see more photos.

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Mike Wong
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Mike Wong
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Mike Wong

 

 

I drew on a number of sources for this article, but one important one was Eric Rice’s excellent three-part article on the history of the bypass controversy that originally ran in the Half Moon Bay Review in 2001, and reprinted on the Committee for Green Foothills website.


The road fracture lines from 1995 appear to match up with the current fracture lines.  The images from Friday show the southern slump and fracture just starting to appear in the roadway.

Vince Williams