Dear Editor: I would like to provide clarification on two issues that were mentioned in your article, “A permanent fix for Highway 101 slide is now delayed” (Sept. 4).
First, the project described in the article is not a “permanent fix” and will not prevent another slide from happening near Hooskanaden Creek. The project would simply return the highway to the condition it was in before the ground moved. Slides will continue to occur in this area and ODOT will continue to repair the road when they do.
Second, we want to make clear that Tidewater Contractors made a good-faith effort to help us find a solution. We want to thank them for submitting a bid, reviewing the project and offering their expert opinion.
After the slide occurred, ODOT’s intention was to return the road alignment to its original condition as soon as possible. Our staff followed an expedited process so that a project could bid this year. Unfortunately, the Aug. 13 bid date may have come too late in the season. This may explain why we only received one bid.
When we reached out to other contractors to ask why they had not submitted bids, most mentioned the challenges of finding disposal sites and securing enough trucks to transport that much material in such a short timeframe.
We have decided to take the feedback we received from Tidewater and other contractors, review the project plans and look for ways to improve the project, which will be postponed until next spring or summer.
We would like to once again thank Tidewater for going above and beyond the call of duty this past winter in responding to the Hooskanaden slide and quickly re-opening the highway. Without their efforts, the highway would have been closed much longer.