Landslide destroys popular Clayton roadway, stranding residents for months to come


A landslide as partially stranded homeowners in a rural part of Contra Costa County and there's a growing fear fire and rescue crews will not be able to get to them if there is an emergency. 

Morgan Territory Road outside of Clayton collapsed Friday evening. It's left nearly 100 people with few options to get out.  

Contra Costa County Public Works said it can't do anything about the road, because the land is still moving. It needs to stabilize before engineers can begin repairs.  

Homeowners have parked outside of the slide to get to the grocery store, post office, and work, but say they have to walk home through a dangerous section of falling road, with leaning power lines.  

"The engineers aren't sure if the landslide broke the water main, or if the water main break caused the landslide," said Cheryl Morgan, a homeowner and board member of the East Contra Costa County Fire Protection Board. 

Residents on the east side of the slide have to drive more than 15 miles on Morgan Territory Road into Livermore to get out.  

"If you were to drive out that way, it gets down to a narrow one-lane road and it's pretty terrifying," said neighbor Tom Fenner.

"Most people don't want to drive it."  

And residents fear that section of Morgan Territory Road could also be compromised.  

"The road going over there already has numerous landslides, waterfalls going across it," said Morgan.   

The limited evacuation route leaves neighbors worried they'll be trapped in an emergency. The average wait time for emergency crews now is an hour to two hours according to Morgan.  

"If we have a medical emergency or, God forbid, a fire, we have no protection out here," said Fenner.  

There is a fire access road on private property through Leon Drive to Aspara Drive, which leads into Marsh Creek Road.

"It absolutely is not a road that can be traversed by a mass amount of traffic. It was for emergency vehicle access only," said Leon Drive neighbor Joshua Thompson.  

Thompson said Saturday morning the private property owner put an end to the travel across his land, because of aggressive drivers.  

"Unfortunately, our neighbor's property has been damaged,"said Thompson.

"They broke a water line, tore open his gate, and have been a bit aggressive to get back and forth to their house." 

County County workers said they want to talk with the private property owners to possibly open the access road, but it currently doesn't have an answer for homeowners on when Morgan Territory Road will reopen, saying it could be months.  


PG&E turned off power on the damaged section of road, leaving 136 homeowners without power. 

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