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The crack is back on Highway 213 near Mulino, ODOT working on more permanent fix

Crack is back on Hwy 213 - KATU photo

A few months ago a huge crack spread across Highway 213 near Mulino.

Oregon Department of Transportation crews fixed it, but in the past few weeks, another one split the pavement, this one right down the middle of the road.

"The first one was bigger, a little more dangerous, but even this one has about a three inch lip on it that can pull your car from side to side" said James Wong, the owner of Mill Barn Espresso which sits along the highway.

ODOT made temporary repairs to the new crack on Thursday, but there are still warning and speed limit signs up.

Drivers could be in for a pretty good bump or jump if you take it too fast.

ODOT Spokesperson Don Hamilton says the road is safe to drive on, there's no danger of it collapsing or caving in.

He added that a permanent fix is in the works.

The highway sits on an ancient landslide, and even with a culvert under the road, water seeps in and makes the ground even more unstable.

In the next few months ODOT will be putting in drainage pipes that should stabilize the road, and Hamilton expects that work to be done sometime in the Spring.

It couldn't come soon enough for Wong, who says he's lost business because of all the road construction along the highway.

"It hurts business anytime they’re doing road construction or flagging along here. People have a certain amount of time to get to work and when flaggers stop them, there goes the five minutes they would have had to stop and get coffee. It’s never good for business. But the road also provides me a livelihood."

And Wong doesn't blame ODOT for the problem.

"It’s just one of those years. This road was re-built in the early 80’s, and its held up all these years. Last year was when they started having problems. A lot of people are upset with ODOT because it’s not getting fixed. But there’s not much they can do if the ground keeps moving. They did the initial fix on it and then three months later it starts moving again. "

We're told ODOT is monitoring the road and will make more temporary repairs if needed, but that could close a lane, even the entire highway for a time.

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