Olema slide at last set for fix

06/06/2013

The section of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard at Olema Hill, where traffic cones and provisional stop signs have created a one-lane road and slowed traffic for over two years, will finally be repaired. Construction to fix the road, damaged by storms in March 2011, will begin in late June and is expected to finish before Labor Day, the county said this week. Engineered Soil Repairs of Walnut Creek won the bid, and federal funds will cover almost 90 percent of the total cost, which was almost $600,000 for the entire project, county civil engineer Ernest Klock said. The time lag between the initial damage and the repair resulted from the fact that the project had to comply with national environmental law, requiring more studies. Concerns raised about the federally threatened Northern Spotted Owl were nullified by data provided by the National Park Service showing that no owl pairs were “close enough to be disturbed by the construction activities.” Additionally, the breeding season will be nearing its end by the time the repairs begin, according to Dave Press, a wildlife ecologist for Point Reyes National Seashore. Supervisor Steve Kinsey’s sole comment in a press release on the coming repair was simply, “Finally.”