Just months after the only road to Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach reopened following extensive landslide repairs, the route will close again—this time to install equipment to better assess the shifting soil.
Vehicle access to the site is scheduled to be cut off for a two-week period, Sept. 11-25, to allow crews to complete that project. Pedestrians are also barred from using the route during that time.
The road sits on active landslides and is often closed in winter when downpours cause the pavement to slump. Just last November, heavy rains triggered mass flooding in the area, forming a sinkhole and fissure.
“The road has taken a beating over the years from stormy coastal weather, erosion and heavy traffic,” park manager Ben Cox said at the time. “We want to thank visitors for their patience while we make the necessary repairs to allow safe passage.”
It took crews months to assess the damage and then patch, grade and repave the road, which eventually reopened last April.
During the upcoming closure, 150-foot holes will be drilled at points along the route so that geotechnical survey equipment can be installed. Those instruments will be in place for the next 18 to 24 months to gather landslide movement data.
“This study is the first of its kind done on Ecola Park Road,” Cox stated in a press release. “The data gathered will help shape long-term strategies and repair options that will hopefully ensure access to one of Oregon’s most iconic places.”
During the two-week construction project, you can still get to Ecola State Park from the north via the 5-mile Tillamook Head Trail. However, keep in mind that parking at the trailhead in Seaside is limited to 13 vehicles.
If the lot is full, or if a 5-mile trek is not in the plans, there are several nearby recreation areas with beach access and stunning views, like Oswald State Park, Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site and Hug Point State Recreation Site.