Highway 1 repairs underway at site of major Big Sur slide. What about rest of road?
Nearly three months after landslides closed a key stretch of Highway 1 near Big Sur, Caltrans has identified “additional areas of concern” in the area.
About 5.8 miles north of the border between San Luis Obispo County and Monterey counties, Redwood Gulch is showing signs of embankment erosion and a compromised culvert, Caltrans District 5 spokesperson Kevin Drabinski said in a news release Friday.
“Additionally, three locations are showing cracks and settling in the southbound lane,” Drabinksi said, including a spot just north of the county line. “Locals who move within the closure area between Ragged Point and Gilbert’s Slide should travel with caution when passing through each of these areas.”
As of Friday, travelers remained unable to access Highway 1 at three different sites, Caltrans said.
The agency is still assessing the Dani Creek slide, located immediately north of Paul’s Slide, the release said.
“Once decisions on a repair strategy have been finalized, crews will have a better estimate of when the highway might reopen at this washout,” Drabinski said.
At Paul’s Slide about 21.7 miles north of the county line, he said, “The winter’s largest slide has completely covered the roadway and will require the removal of some 500,000 cubic yards of slide material.”
“Washouts to the north at Dani Creek and to the south at Gilbert’s Slide pose logistical challenges to the repair efforts here,” Drabinski said.
Although it’s difficult to estimate when the road might reopen at Paul’s Slide, Caltrans said, a possible reopening date “should become clearer in several weeks as repairs advance at other slide areas.”
Meanwhile, repairs started Thursday at Gilbert’s Slide north of Gorda in Monterey County and are expected to take at least two months, the release said.
“We will continue to explore every opportunity to provide access to locals through the repair area as conditions allow,” Drabinski said.
In the meantime, Highway 1 remains closed between Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn in Monterey County and Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County.
There’s limited, one-lane access at the sites of three slides south of the northern closure, Caltrans said. Those slides are located just south of Torre Canyon Bridge, just south of Esalen and and farther south from there.
“Estimates on the full reopening of the highway through these three slides will be available in coming days,” Drabinski said.
With the exception of rain events, crews are working seven days a week to make “all necessary repairs” on the road, he said.
For updates, follow Caltrans’ District 5 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Find out more about road closures at quickmap.dot.ca.gov.