Album: Rebuilding Devil’s Slide, and a persistent question
Coastsider went up to Devil’s Slide Thursday to shoot some video, take some pictures, and talk to Caltrans geologist Grant Wilcox. This is one of the best photo albums we’ve run and if you want to understand what the job site looks like, you should take a look.
The top question on our list was the one that seems to be on everyone’s lips this week: Could Caltrans offer one-way service for cars at rush hours?
That was the hot question at Wednesday’s Midcoast Community Council meeting. It came up in the community comments at the beginning and during the debate between the candidates for San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
We asked Caltrans spokesman John Cunliffe at the Slide on Tuesday and he says that there is no room for cars to pass with the massive cranes currently occupying the site. The cranes speak for themselves. We walked between the enormous cranes that straddle the road now and we couldn’t figure out how to get a car past there, or how the move the cranes twice daily to open a lane.
In a couple of weeks, the larger of the two cranes will be moved off the site, but another crane, the size of the "smaller" one already there, will be brought up to the site. [Click for a closer look at this photo. Click that image for a much larger version.] One will be used for drilling the holes in the side of the cliff above the roadbed and a second one will be used at the same time to drill the holes under the roadbed. The holes will be used to tie the slide to the mountain on the other side of the current slide plane. We don’t see how cars could pass with two of these cranes drilling on the site.
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors debate at the Midcoast Community Council, Supervisor Rich Gordon said that Caltrans might be able to open the Slide to one-way traffic in August. As the beginning of the new school year approaches, we expect this topic to heat up.
We also asked Cunliffe whether any Caltrans or construction vehicles were allowed to pass through the site between Montara and Pacifica. He says they are not. There were plenty of cars and trucks on either side of the site, but it was clear they were going out the way they had come in.