EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – U.S. Forest Service officials say a rock slide containing about 800 dump trucks of boulders and rocks will keep a road to a popular wintertime hot springs closed indefinitely.
Shane Kamrath of the Willamette National Forest tells The Register-Guard in a story on Saturday that that the area is still unstable and more debris could fall onto Aufderheide Drive.
The landslide occurred on Dec. 21.
Terwilliger Hot Springs is about 7 miles from Oregon Route 126.
Officials say other routes to the hot springs near Cougar lake are blocked by snow or construction.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com
Willamette National Forest news release:
UPDATE: Engineers Take Initial Steps to Address Landslide Blocking Access to Terwilliger (Cougar) Hot Springs
(Springfield) Access to Terwilliger (also known as Cougar) Hot Springs remains blocked due to a December 21 st rock fall. The landslide is located on Forest Road 19 (Aufderheide Drive). The deposit is over 30 feet in height and covers over 250 linear feet of the road. Massive and unstable boulders and still falling rocks make the area completely unsafe. Unfortunately, other ways to access to Terwilliger are blocked by either snow or construction; there is no safe way to reach the hot springs at this time.
Geologists and engineers visited the site on December 28 th ; their plan is to have specialists loosen the material still perched above what has fallen onto the road and then, as soon as possible, remove the approximately 8000 cubic yards of road that are on the road bed. That equates to approximately 800 dump trucks full of boulders and rock. The road will be closed for the foreseeable future.
This section of road has been subject to repeated landslides over the years and acting District Ranger Shane Kamrath warns visitors that “The road has been closed for your safety, please respect that this landslide may continue to bring boulders, rocks and mud down on the road. We are actively working on the issue but for now, there is no way into the hot springs.” For visitors still seeking warm waters on a winter day, there are privately owned hot springs along Highway 126, as well as the smaller McCredie Hot Springs located on Highway 58.
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