Highway 9 overnight closures set for next week; two-way traffic could return by midweek

Crews face a landslide in the Santa Cruz Mountains
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A half-mile section of Highway 9 hasn’t seen two-way traffic since it was struck by a New Year’s Eve landslide. Crews will work to put finishing touches on repairs next week to fully reopen the key artery through the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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Nearly four months after it was shut by a storm-driven landslide, Highway 9 could be fully reopened Wednesday morning, Caltrans District 5 spokesperson Kevin Drabinski told Lookout.

Santa Cruz Mountains residents and commuters will encounter nighttime traffic impacts next week as crews from the transit agency prepare to bring two-way traffic back to the key San Lorenzo Valley artery.

Caltrans will fully close the roadway between lower Glen Arbor Road and Holiday Lane — where the New Year’s Eve slide occurred — on Monday and Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. According to a Caltrans release, the closure will allow crews to perform the final steps to reopen the section of road that has been closed for more than three months. That includes removing the temporary one-way traffic signal, making final repairs to the roadway and applying permanent striping.

Assuming the road is sound and the slope is stable upon evaluation, crews are hoping to reopen it next week.

“We’ll make that decision on Wednesday morning, we just have to wait for a final determination from our head engineer,” Drabinski said.

He added that a temporary one-way traffic signal will remain at the slide between Shadowbrook Road and Scenic Way, just a half-mile north of the New Year’s Eve slide.

Daytime work is set to continue on Highway 17, too. Caltrans will close one northbound lane of the road that connects Santa Cruz County to Santa Clara County for more tree removal work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday. The closure spans the portion of highway from Bear Creek Road to Summit Road in Los Gatos. The southbound tree clearing has wrapped up.