Manzanita - The Oregon Department of Transportation will close a section of Highway 101 at Neahkahnie Mountain from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday for a rock scaling project. The section of highway is three miles north of Manzanita.

Recently a 5-foot rock fell at this location and damaged the roadway. The rock scaling project involves an inspection of the area and removal of any loose or hazardous rocks. Repairs will be made to the damaged section of highway.

The highway will be closed to insure safety of the traveling public and because a protective mat will be placed on the Chasm Bridge. Motorists can use Highway 53 as a detour.

A contractor will rappel the hillside and perform a preliminary inspection of the rock wall. ODOT maintenance crews will man barricades at both ends of the project and variable message signs will inform motorists of the closure. After the inspection on Wednesday, the situation will be discussed to identify possible hazards that need addressing. Another date will be scheduled for the contractor to remove the loose or hazardous rocks.

"We regret any inconvenience to the traveling public," said District 1 Manager Mike Spaeth. "Recent rains have loosened up the hillside and this project will ensure that all hazardous and loose rocks will be removed."

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