Caltrans clears mud-covered U.S. 101 in 12 days

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Updated Mar 23, 2018

The January mudslides in Southern California were not only deadly, they shut down U.S. Highway 101 in Montecito for nearly two weeks.

As you’ll see in the video below, hardworking crews with Caltrans used plenty of trucks, backhoes and other heavy equipment to clear the muck and help get life back to normal. But it was far from easy.

“It’s a hard thing to truck,” Jason Cline, senior resident engineer at Caltrans said of the muck. “Usually, you’re used to hauling dirt and it’s solid, and this had the consistency of a milkshake.”

Crews had the highway back open 12 days after it had closed.

“I think we were all proud of what we were able to accomplish,” said Chris Chalk, acting south region manager of Caltrans. “I think we do this everyday. Maybe not to this scale, but we’re out there and if needs to be 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our people are more than willing to make that sacrifice.”