Residents near Hwy 35 washout in Los Gatos discouraging spectators

Monday, February 13, 2017 05:58PM
Los Gatos residents have been waving down spectators who want to take Black Road up to see the big washout that has closed Highway 35. They're asking them to turn around.


LOS GATOS, Calif. - There are new concerns about crumbling roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Residents trying to avoid the mess on Highway 35 near Cumbres Road say there's a new problem on nearby Black Road.

Traffic along Black Road has dramatically increased since Friday, which is when a massive washout happened on Highway 35. A lot of curious people want to see it but residents say Black Road is just too fragile to handle the traffic.

They have been waving down spectators who want to take Black Road up to see the washout that has closed Highway 35. They're asking them to turn around.

The reason is evident. Black Road is deteriorating from the storms. A large crack has developed that could cause the road to crumble and there have been a number of slides.

"We've had three to four times as much traffic on Black Road as usual because all the other roads are closed -- Bear Creek, Gist, Highway 9 -- and you combine that extra traffic with the road bed where there are some major cracks and we're very concerned," resident Vicki Perkins said.

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That leaves Black Road as the only access for about 2,000 residents. Clogged roads also make access difficult for emergency response vehicles.

Some drivers heading to Castle Rock State Park hadn't heard about the Highway 35 washout. "Had no idea. No idea. We figured we would have heard something on social media just because the climbing community is so vast and concentrated out here, but nothing. Nothing," Oakland resident Jordan Edwards said.

Caltrans said it doesn't know when the road will reopen. The possibility that Black Road could be next has some residents stocking up on necessities.

Another section of Highway 35, just to the south, has also washed out, wiping out one lane.

RELATED: Close up look at Oroville Dam damage

VIDEO: Part of Highway 35 washed out in Santa Cruz Mountains
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