SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — A 50-foot long stretch of Highway 35 in the Santa Cruz Mountains that collapsed a month ago is just one problem spot under repair in the storm-battered region.
Crews still have no timeline for completion. Mother Nature gave highway 35 in a beating like no other.
Skydrone 5 shows the worst damage was on a section about a mile east of Castle Rock Park. A huge slide sheared off a 50-foot chunk of highway, taking down an entire redwood tree, roots and all.
A wall of mud came rushing down the steep hill and wiped out everything in its path.
The damaged section is so steep and the repair work so complicated, Caltrans has no estimate on when it will be fixed.
On Bear Creek Road, about a mile and a half west of Highway 35, crews are working 24-7 to rebuild a portion of the road that was eaten away by the storms.
They are using metal cages filled with boulders to shore up the foundation and widen the road back to two lanes.
Once they’re done there, another section of Highway 35 in nearby Redwood Estates is also crumbling.
Caltrans said repairs in both of those areas should be done next week.
Even for locals, it’s hard to keep up with all the damage. The closures caught many drivers off guard.
Easy access to Boulder Creek from the South Bay has been cut off. It normally takes just a few minutes, but detouring around can take more than an hour.
“I mean, you can’t really complain,” said area resident Robert Lenci. “You have a drought and we’re all asking for water, and then we get too much water and now we complain again, right?”
Second grader Mana O’Brien and his family came out to see the damage in person, as part of a school report on the winter storms.
When asked what kind of winter the area has been having, the young girl replied, “A very hard, bad winter.”