The contract engineer working on the Southside Road landslide repairs said he expects the road to reopen Aug. 13, about 11 weeks after a closure to a portion of the rural, hillside thoroughfare.
Gregory Bucknell, the licensed civil engineer hired by San Benito County for the project, also said there was a second landslide July 13 that pushed back previous prospects for an opening to the road.
“We thought we arrested the first slide, but then the hill dropped again,” said Bucknell.
He said he expects an Aug. 13 opening if all goes as planned, while crews will be out doing “miscellaneous work” such as discing a nearby field used for hauling.
As for timelines, Bucknell recalled how the landslide occurred in May, with the road closed May 29. The county approved a contract with Don Chapin Co. for the work, which started a few days later.
Due to the landslides, Southside Road has been closed between Blossom Lane and Tyler Trail. Bucknell and others previously hoped to have the road reopened by the end of July, but the second landslide pushed that date back, he said.
“We should be OK,” he said about work on the second landslide. “We’re about, we’re almost back down to the bottom there.”
After the second slide, Bucknell said crews noticed wet material, particularly sand. He said that could be groundwater or some other material within the earth there.
He said workers are confident it won’t be a safety hazard for drivers.
“We’re pretty sure we’ve arrested that,” he said.
-Story by Kollin Kosmicki
-Photo Courtesy of Supervisor Mark Medina