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Big Sur traffic delays; PG&E says power won't be cut

UPDATE:

Thursday afternoon, PG&E spokesman Kory Raftery said Caltrans’ announcement that the utility would cut power to the south coast of Big Sur is incorrect.

“We’ll do everything we can to keep our customers’ power on during the work,” Raftery said. “We anticipate that we’ll be able to do so. We will continue to work with Caltrans and let our customers know if the situation changes.”

He added that it’s not likely work on the stream bank repair will begin Monday, pending an agreement between PG&E and Caltrans about how to proceed. The delay also means that one-way traffic control will not be in place Friday morning, and possibly until next week.

Original story:

Stream bank erosion on the Big Sur River is adding power outages to the litany of traffic delays through Big Sur, Caltrans announced Thursday.

The river is cutting into its embankment near the campgrounds at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, not far from the park’s Big Sur Lodge.

One-way traffic control will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday at the site, about 73 miles north of Cambria, to allow trucks to deliver large boulders, known as rip rap, that will be placed along the embankment next week.

Because there are strict safety guidelines on how close the crane used to move the boulders is allowed to come to overhead power lines, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will shut down electricity from the lodge south all the way to the Monterey/San Luis Obispo county line.

Those outages will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for two weeks starting Monday. Businesses, homes, schools and other utility customers the 45-mile stretch are being notified they will be without power at those times.

One-way traffic control will be in effect during the same hours.

Granite Construction of Watsonville has the contract for the $925,000 emergency project.

Other Highway 1 projects between Cambria and Carmel include:

• About 31 miles north of Cambria (about 3 miles south of Gorda), where crews close Highway 1 completely at 5 p.m., reopening it at 8 a.m. as crews work to fix a section of fill washed out by heavy surf. Cambria’s Winsor Construction is the contractor on the emergency job. One-way traffic control is in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and



• About 45 miles north of Cambria (2 miles south of Lucia) road there is subject to one-way traffic controlled by a signal light 24 hours a day where a $29 million, four-year project is also underway. A 620-foot bridge and protective cover will be installed at Pitkin’s Curve in the Rainrocks area. For details, go to

www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/road_information.htm

, or call a new, toll-free Big Sur highway hot line at (888) 836-0866.



— Kathe Tanner and Bert Etling

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