It will take four to six weeks to reopen Highway 1 at Alder Creek, 2 miles south of Gorda, Caltrans estimated Friday.
The scenic highway between Cambria and Carmel has been closed in one spot or another since March 16 because of landslides above or below the roadway. The Amgen Tour of California bicycle race, which annually draws a top field of international contestants, is due to come south along the highway from Seaside to Paso Robles on May 19, less than four weeks from now.
Tour organizers will work with Caltrans to make a decision by the end of April on whether to reroute the race, according to a report in Cycling News.
A helicopter will deliver equipment to the slide area this week, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Susana Cruz. Trucks are to haul debris to dump sites at Willow Creek, about 3 miles to the north of the slide, and Grey Slip, about a mile south of the slide, according to Jim Shivers, a Caltrans spokesman.
Never miss a local story.
The California Coastal Commission and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary expedited emergency permits for the project, Shivers said.
Caltrans recommends that travelers going from San Luis Obispo County to Big Sur take Highway 101 to Salinas, go west on Highway 68 and south on Highway 1 south to Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur.
One lane of Highway 1 at Rocky Creek, site of a previous closure triggered by partial collapse of the roadway itself, is now open 24 hours a day, with reversing one-way traffic controlled by a signal. There are no weight or length restrictions for vehicles.