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Preacher Slide

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After a two-month closure for slide repairs, the Old Siskiyou Highway (Oregon 273) reopened on Sept. 12, heralded by local residents, delivery service drivers, and local cyclists who ride the highway to reach the top of Mt. Ashland. Preacher Slide repair work was centered just east of the southern Oregon landmark, Callahan’s Mountain Lodge, on Old Siskiyou Highway. The project cost $2.2 million.

Prime contractor Copeland Construction of Grants Pass excavated and hauled off more than 2,220 dump truck loads of dirt and debris. To form a buttress and new roadbed, Copeland Construction hauled nearly 1,400 dump trucks of rock to the site.

“The rock buttress works like a doorstop, holding the slide back,” said ODOT Project Information Specialist Gary Leaming.

Copeland Construction built a new slope drainage system that diverts water away, relieving pressure from behind the slide, resolving an annual battle over the past eight years.

“Construction was a hassle for everyone,” said Leaming. “For the first few weeks of school, even the buses used an alternate plan to pick up and drop off students above and below the slide area. We understand this was a major inconvenience and want to thank the community for their patience and support.

“Rather than come back each spring to undo the damage caused by winter storms, we expect this repair to hold up for many years to come.”

This was the second slide fixed in southern Jackson County over the last two years. Last summer, repair work finished on the ‘Crack of Doom’ Slide on historic Greensprings Highway (Oregon 66) near Cascade Summit. That repair also installed a large rock buttress and new drainage system.

ODOT had planned both repair projects, Preacher Slide and the ‘Crack of Doom’ Slide on Oregon 66, under the same contract this past summer. Unfortunately, the ‘Crack of Doom’ Slide didn’t cooperate, necessitating an emergency contract or risk losing the Greensprings Highway for the entire winter.

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« Back to the October 2018 edition