Caltrans padlocks road, closes trails on Slide to hikers

Why wait till Wednesday?

Posted by on Tue, April 11, 2006


Caltrans has put up a sturdy, padlocked gate on Highway 1 and has met with the Park Ranger to get the trails on the Slide closed to hikers, according to a press release on the Caltrans Devil’s Slide website.

Until recently, entry to the Slide was controlled by a fairly flimsy chainlink fence. Many Coastsiders have been visiting the Slide site and there has been increasing interest in checking out the damage from the hiking trails above.

Anyone know the rationale for limiting access to state park trails?

The trails above do not provide access to the roadway at the Slide, so where’s the risk?

Yep, gotta make sure that nobody can see that just as in 1995, they’re not doing anything.

As I said in 1995, CalTrans should be completely disbanded and replaced with a contracts administrator. All projects will then be completed faster and cheaper.

The message is clear, it’s our way or your highway. Brain dead public relations.  Didn’t CalTrans learn anything from Katrina?  Security of government workers is a priority over a fast response.  Lot’s of pictures of fallen boulders to instill fear.  Finally, massive fences, closed trails and CHP security standing by.

OH MY GOD, I agree with leonard waren. please hit me eiht a sewer pipe to make sure i am not dreaming….......

The rationale is safety. Caltrans told me (on Monday, I think) that boulders were continuing to fall north and south of the Slide.

Large private enterprises have SUCH great reputations, don’t they? I guess you want to no-bid Bechtel? Great track record in Boston’s Big Dig: leakage, delays, cost overruns….
  Or maybe you prefer Halliburton? They’re GREAT at being open and forthcoming.
  Faster, cheaper… wasn’t that part of the fallacy espoused by tunnel marketers?
  But if you are seriously recommending certain contractors, why not forward their contact details to CalTrans:

Caltrans said at the meeting they would be using water sensitive explosives to stabilize a rock slide caused by water. For safety reasons they have to wait until the weather dries up.
We are able to go half way around the earth and blow up stuff in all kinds of climates for all kinds of reasons and we can’t even set off a rock slide hanging over our heads until the weather dries up enough to use a water senative explosive!!!!!!!!!!!  HELP ME MISTER WIZARD!!!!

Does this means they will close the trail up to Montara Mtn and across to Pacfica?  Or maybe just the trails that hug the coast line?  Info anyone? Thanks.

I appreciate that Caltrans is concerned about safety.  That’s appropriate.  What puzzles me is the perceived relationship to trails in the state park.  You can see the trails here:

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They do not provide access to the closed portion of the slide, and they are above the falling rocks.

And liability.


I was impressed with the Caltrans geologist’s presentation, though (coastsider video—thanks, Barry), and the daily updates on their site are certainly helpful.

I’m not a Caltrans apoligest by any means. The trails were closed because Caltrans is using explosives to clear debris. The trails are close enough to allow hikers to enter the danger area. It’s easier to close the trails then to patrol them just prior to a blast. Explosions are unpredictable. Being killed by schrapnal is anoying.

The water sensitive ammonian nitrate/desel explosive just happens to be the most economical and the best suited explosive for moving large masses of rock. Technically, AND is a low velocity explosive ideally suited to “push” and not shatter rock. Low velocity dinamite could be used, but is expensive and difficult to obtain in large quantities and dangerous to transport. AN is basically inert (but melts when wet) and can be placed by larborers instead of experts. Military explosives are unsuited for this type of work since they shatter instead of push. Their effect would be quite shallow. Although a B52 arclight strike on devel’s slide would be fun to watch.

I don’t work for Caltans, don’t like them much, but as a 35 year coastside resident and an engineer, I have to say they are doing a pretty good job with a road that never should been built.

the coast shore railway went out of businees due to the same slide.

BTW. Those trails you are talking about are the former right of way of highway one. Built above the slide they are still in good shape dispite the lack of maintenance for the last 70 years. Too many curves for modern traffic.

Fixing the road would be more helpful.