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Public works crews working to reopen storm-damaged SLO County roads

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Posted at 10:57 PM, Jan 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-14 02:39:52-05

It’s been a busy week for public works crews that are still in clean-up mode following Monday’s storm.

Orcutt Road is still closed due to storm damage just south of the San Luis Obispo City Limits.

“Our road maintenance crews are out in the field county-wide on all county roads,” said SLO County Public Works Director John Diodati.

A fallen oak tree has been cleared from Branch Mill Road near Arroyo Grande, but it’s a different story elsewhere as public works crews work to clear debris from roadways.

“They’re doing culvert clearance and bridge clearance of all the debris that’s built up from the last storm,” said Diodati.

To the south of Arroyo Grande, El Campo Road is still closed and is impassable to drivers.

The roadway completely washed out just east of Los Berros Road, leaving a normally buried storm drain exposed.

It’s a similar story at Corbett Canyon Road which is closed to thru traffic between Tiffany Ranch Road and Corbett Highlands Place.

The damage is far less severe, but the northbound lane is closed where the roadway has begun eroding at a storm drain that crosses underneath.

Creek crossings are also closed although water levels have dropped since Monday.

“The Arroyo Grande Creek was probably 18 inches above the low water crossing there,” said Mike Fuller who described how much water levels have dropped in recent days.

Fuller says that the creek crossing at Cecchetti Road was impassable and too dangerous to cross earlier this week.

“Unless you wanted to take a big risk yeah, it was swift movement,” he added.

Water levels have dropped but the roadway is still technically closed.

Avila Beach Drive is also closed to through traffic, meaning drivers will have to take San Luis Bay Drive to get to Avila Beach.

Public works crews, meanwhile, are busy inspecting bridges to make sure that they’re safe to drive.

“We have engineering teams, boots on the ground inspecting about 30 county bridges,” said Diodati.

In northern San Luis Obispo County, crews are rebuilding Chimney Rock Road which could reopen Saturday.