Section of Highway 101 in Humboldt County sinks after storm

Nearly a mile of Highway 101 in Northern California is damaged by the the winter storms, including a section of the highway that became so waterlogged it caved in on itself, harming both lanes.

In response, Caltrans is directing one-way traffic over the eastern shoulder of the crucial roadway near the border of Mendocino and Humboldt counties.

Caltrans announced the "slipout," near Cooks Valley along a bend in the South Fork Eel River, on its social media, and reassured motorists that the agency is closely monitoring the single-lane highway.

"If the highway is open, it's safe," Caltrans wrote in its statement. "Crews are conducting and planning stabilization efforts including the use of soil nails."

Soil nails are a construction measure to reinforce a destabilized slope by inserting the nails into the earth, creating a gravity retaining wall for support.

Myles Cochrane, a spokesperson for Caltrans, explained on the radio station KMUD News on March 13 that road crews were mobilizing equipment in the event of further sliding on the highway.

"What we can let you know right now is that 24/7 monitoring of that site does continue," he said. "Crews have had a very close eye on that and so long as it's open, it is safe. And it is currently open as we speak right now. Of course that is subject to change as we've had weather conditions in the area."