On May 20, 2017, an entire hillside north of Ragged Point collapsed into the ocean, taking a quarter mile of scenic Highway 1 with it.
Now, more than a year later, Caltrans says the work to rebuild the road has proceeded so quickly that southern access to Big Sur will reopen at the end of July, six weeks earlier than planned.
Highway 1 has been closed in various places from Ragged Point to Big Sur since December 2016, but the mega-slide at Mud Creek last May proved to be the biggest challenge: Millions of cubic yards of material slid down into the sea and created an additional 15 acres of coastline about 9 miles north of the Monterey County line.
Caltrans has spent the months since stabilizing the hillside, trucking in tons of boulders to shore up the water's edge and charting out the new path for the road.
Over the next six weeks, workers will finish leveling the road base and pave the new route ahead of the reopening.