Highway 17 partially reopens, slide fears continue

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS (KGO) -- A single northbound lane of Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains was reopened this morning after landslides forced a complete closure.

Traffic in the north and southbound directions were limited to a single lane.

TRAFFIC: See current road conditions and warnings

The highway was closed in both directions Friday after a landslide and unstable hillside. The risk of dangerous, falling debris has caused problems there for weeks.

RELATED: Father of two identified as construction worker killed on Highway 17

Caltrans shut down the busy highway in both directions near Vine Hill Road Friday morning, fearing another slide.

"There's so much saturated earth that's up top," said Sam Courtney of the Santa Cruz CHP. "They've been trying to remove it, remove it remove it--but the danger is if the top part comes down in a slide, it could go right into the Southbound lanes."

About eight miles of roadway remained closed Friday while geologists tracked the hill's movement with sensors.

It's a dangerous area where slides took out a truck earlier this week and hit an ABC7 News van last month. A construction worker was killed Thursday while clearing a mudslide in the same area.

RELATED: ABC7 News photographer describes terrifying landslide experience

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