Today’s Pickup: California Highway 101 still closed following mudslides

U.S. Highway 50 was one of the roads that was damaged following the California mudslides last week. ( Photo: Caltrans )

Good day,

The recent mudslides in California have caused a number of travel concerns in California, including along Highway 101, which will likely remain closed until next week, California Department of Transportation officials told the Los Angeles Times. The roadway has been closed between Santa Barbara and Carpinteria since last Tuesday.

The state is removing debris from the roadway. “We’ve made tremendous progress over the last 48 hours,” Jim Shivers, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, told the Times.

The state initially thought the road would be closed for a few days, but the job of removing not only the mud and dirt, but also vehicles proved larger than anticipated. Water is also still being pumped off the roadway.

At this point, the Times reported, most of the work is centered around the Olive Mill Road exit.

Detours are taking drivers onto Highways 46, 41 or 58 among other local roads, adding distance to length of haul.

Officials hope to have the highway reopened on Monday.

Did you know?

Over the past seven days, spot rates from LA to Seattle are averaging $2.98 per mile, up 38.6% year-over-year. LA to San Francisco is at $3.16 per mile, up 31% YOY. 


“This administration is especially concerned that transportation policy be inclusive, and address the needs of rural – as well as urban – areas. We hear a lot about Smart Cities. And that’s great, but not everyone lives downtown. And it is worth noting that rural America accounts for a disproportionately large share of highway fatalities. So, automated technology has an important role to play in rural mobility and safety, as well.”

Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, autonomous vehicles

In other news:

Ford boosting electric vehicle investments

Ford Motor Co. said it will boost electric vehicle investments to $11 billion by 2022 as he seeks to keep pace with other automakers. (Wall Street Journal)

Logistics firm creates logistics investment fund

Temasek Holdings, a Singapore state-owned investment company, has created an investment fund with Kuehne + Nagel for start-up logistics technology firms. (Business Times)

Mississippi bill would reduce truck speeds in bad weather

A bill introduced in Mississippi would remove a provision requiring visibility to be poor in bad weather and mandate trucks slow to 45 mph in bad weather, regardless of visibility. (Landline Magazine)

California mudslides lengthen commutes

Truckers driving through San Luis Obispo County in California are facing longer commutes following the deadly mudslides that have closed many roads, including Highway 101. (Transport Topics)

IoT will transform transportation

Cities around the world are racing to develop modern transportation systems, and at the center of it all is the Internet of Things. (SmartCitiesWorld)

Final Thoughts

Like many weather-related issues, the recent mudslides in California have damaged roadways in the region, causing delays and possibly rate increases in the area. Drivers are forced to take longer routes to their destinations, proving once again that despite the best laid plans, weather can quickly derail freight movement.   

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.