Rush to fix section of 101 before it collapses

Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 21:43:47-05

The rush is on to fix two sections of Highway 101 in Cardiff before they collapse. 

Extreme high tides over Thanksgiving weekend ate away at the bottom of the eastern side of the highway, which is built on a sandy slope. The biggest gap of the two is about eight feet deep and 30 feet long.

Crews are working overtime to install sturdy material that erodes less than sandy soil, and then they're dropping rocks into the gaps. 

"This is my main access road. I lived in sort of a five mile radius bubble,” said Cardiff resident Kelly Khun. 

Khun was less than 100 yards away at the Kraken Bar and Restaurant where it's hard to miss when an extreme high tide rolls in. 

 "It can come up two to three feet just below this ledge,” said Khun.

Too close for comfort for the guys who run a food cart in front of the bar. 

"They used to be closer to the edge, now they're sort of in the parking lot area,” added Khun.

During king high tides, the water from the ocean pushes under the bridge that runs just to the north and rushes into the inlet that feeds the San Elijo lagoon. The force of the water washing back and forth erodes the slope over time.

The threat of the highway caving in forced the city to shut down one of the two northbound lanes indefinitely.

"Around 4:30 to 5 p.m., traffic is insane. Everybody's trying to merge into one lane. It's pretty crazy around,” said Katherine Larsen who works at Kraken.

The next round of high surf and high tides roll in on Friday.

The project is expected to cost about $60,000. A more long-term project to combat erosion is also being planned.