Work halted on Highway 1 as two hillsides continue to crumble

The hopes of Highway 1 travelers just got another setback: Caltrans reported Monday that new slide activity at both ends of a closed section of roadway has stalled repair efforts.

“A major slide/slip-out” at 9:30 p.m. Saturday resulted in the loss of millions of cubic yards of material at the Mud Creek Slide, 9 miles north of the San Luis Obispo-Monterey County line, Caltrans said, putting work in the area on hold.

Work has also ceased at Paul’s Slide, 12 miles farther north, which also had new and increased slide activity, Susana Cruz, Caltrans District 5 public information officer, said in a news release.

Access is provided to delivery traffic on a very limited basis there but can be cut off at any time without notice, as it was at noon Monday because of foggy conditions and the new slide activity.

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“The roadway will be assessed at each scheduled access time,” Cruz wrote in the release. “But if the roadway is deemed unsafe, such as material coming down, low visibility due to excessive fog or slide is being active, locals/deliveries will not be allowed. For example, for today’s evening access, local residents can line up, but if material is coming onto the roadway or Paul’s Slide is active, locals will not be granted access.”

Highway 1 remains fully closed in both directions at Mud Creek because of continued slide activity. The only access from the south to the area between the two slides is via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Gorda services, beaches and campgrounds remain open.

Caltrans has no timetable for when Highway 1 may reopen through the two slide areas.

Stephen H. Provost: 805-927-8896, @sproauthor

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