When will Hwy. 1 fully reopen along the Big Sur coast? It will be awhile, Caltrans says
Two key stretches of Highway 1 north of Ragged Point are expected to reopen to traffic by mid-July, according to Caltrans, but don’t plan any trips up the coast to Carmel quite yet.
The good news is the road agency is wrapping up work to repair damage from landslides at Dani Creek and Gilbert’s Slide.
The bad news is there will still be one more major slide to clear before drivers can use the scenic highway to travel from San Luis Obispo County to Big Sur and beyond, Caltrans said.
That’s because there’s still no estimate for when Paul’s Slide, a landslide-prone section that’s 22 miles north of the border between Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties, will reopen, Caltrans District 5 spokesman Kevin Drabinski wrote via email Tuesday.
It will take at least “several months for Paul’s,” he said.
According to Drabinski, crews are working there seven days a week, removing slide material from “the top down,” high above the roadbed.
At Dani Creek, about 23 miles north of the county line, he said, a “massive boulder ... had to be reduced,” which added time to completing the project.
Excavation is complete just north of Gorda at Gilbert’s Slide, according to Drabinksi said.
“We are making progress introducing fill and bringing back the level,” he said of that slide.
“Recent rains set us back two days,” Drabinski said, “but we have been able to be productive here for the vast majority of the time.”
Caltrans reported several slides along the 70-mile stretch of Highway 1 after drenching winter rains hammered the Central Coast for weeks.
Travelers can still reach many of the area’s beautiful viewpoints, coastal communities and local businesses such as the Ragged Point Inn. It reopened in February after a month-long closure caused by a slide at the Polar Star location just south of the resort.
For updates, follow Caltrans’ District 5 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Find out more about road closures at quickmap.dot.ca.gov.