Several parts of Bear Creek Road closed, some drivers caught off guard

Several parts of Bear Creek Road...

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Several different slip-out repair projects are happening along Bear Creek Road, or Highway 35, in the Santa Cruz Mountains after the road was badly damaged during the winter, according to Susana Z. Cruz, with Caltrans. 

If you drive up the Summit Road portion of Highway 35, the winding and narrow mountain pass between the San Lorenzo Valley and Highway 17, you will eventually run into roadblocks to your left and to your right. 

“(It is) very frustrating,” said commuter Sia Nazhand. “I am going to lose another hour so that’s not fun.” 

I met Nazhand on Monday at the construction site on Highway 35 between Summit Road and Skyline Drive. He was heading home after leaving Boulder Creek, where he owns a business. 

“There is no sign all the way back there at Bear Creek Road,” said Nazhand, pointing toward Boulder Creek, which is about 11 miles from the job site. “I came all the way here and now there is a sign here. They should have a sign all the way back at Bear Creek but there is not.” 

This portion of Highway 35 will be closed until Sept. 21, and it’s a full, 24/7 closure. The repairs will cost about $7 million, according to Cruz. 

“This is part of a big slide/slip-out repair (project) from this winter on different highways,” Cruz said. In addition to Highway 35, the roads affected include State Route 9, Highway 9, 1 and State Route 236 in Santa Cruz County. 

When you head farther north on Bear Creek Road into Santa Clara County, you will run into another job site. The slip-out here is quite a bit larger but crews are only working on it during the day so people can pass through between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. It is expected to wrap up in early November.  

These projects are not to be confused with a 50-foot-long stretch of Highway 35 near Castle Rock Park. Mother Nature gave it quite a beating, forcing two slides during the winter. Construction to fix this portion of the road has begun, according to Caltrans, but there is no official word on when it will all be wrapped up.

In the meantime, drivers are being told to use Black Road as a detour.

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