Access to popular spots on the southern Big Sur coast will be restored next week when Caltrans reopens a key stretch of Highway 1 — just in time for Memorial Day holiday weekend travel.
The scenic highway is currently closed from Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County to 18.7 miles south of Big Sur at Big Creek Vista Point in Monterey County due to a series of landslides.
Caltrans will move the southern end of the closure north by about 21 miles at 4 p.m. Friday, May 26, the state roads agency said in a news release.
That will allow travelers to once again reach Salmon Creek, Willow Creek, Jade Cove, Plaskett Creek, Pacific Valley, Sand Dollar Beach and Kirk Creek, as well as Treebones Resort.
The popular resort just landed on Travel Lemming’s list of the 150 best places to visit in the United States this summer.
However, Limekiln State Park will remain closed, Caltrans spokesperson Kevin Drabinksi.
Caltrans originally estimated work to repair the road at Gilbert’s Slide would be complete by July 15, nearly two months later than the new projected finish date.
The reopened area will end about a half mile south of Paul’s Slide, 22 miles north of the border between San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.
Intermittent traffic control is expected in several areas in the reopened area, Drabinski said, so drivers should allow extra time for their travels.
He added that they won’t be able to park in the turnaround area.
There’s also a long-term traffic control signal near Ragged Point, less than a mile north of the county lines.
According to Caltrans, efforts to clear up two remaining landslides will keep Highway 1 from full reopening between San Simeon and Carmel for “several months.”
“Crews working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week at Paul’s Slide anticipate they will have a more refined estimate on the reopening of Highway 1 at that location by July 1,” Drabinski said.
Repairs at the Dani Creek slide, just north of Paul’s Slide, are currently projected to conclude by mid-July.
Caltrans is considering opening the entire Big Sur Coast roadway to one-way traffic, but Drabinski said that decision won’t be made until at least July 1.