Several cracks that have formed along the seaward side of a recently reopened stretch of Highway 1 near Ragged Point do not present a threat, and the new roadway is expected to continue settling over the next two years, Caltrans officials say.
Jim Shivers, spokesman for Caltrans District 5, said Friday that several cracks ranging from a foot to about a yard in length have appeared on the southbound side of the roadway, but that agency engineers say they are just “surface cracks” in the pavement that are not problematic to the integrity of the rebuilt highway.
Shivers said there are currently no plans to resurface, reseal or perform any other work at the site, and that the agency is monitoring the cracks daily.
“Our maintenance crews, because of their work schedule, drive (that stretch) every day,” Shivers said. “They would have knowledge and recognize any day-to-day changes.”
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Should workers notice anything that would extend beyond a maintenance issues, Shivers said they would report any concerns to district engineers, who would respond to the area for an assessment.
Though Shivers wouldn’t go so far as to say some cracking in the pavement was expected, he said it’s “probably not a huge surprise.”
“Overall, you’re talking about a highway at the edge of a continent that is moving in some way, shape, or form every day,” he said. “If we thought there was any threat to the public, we would (close the stretch).”
The segment of Highway 1 re-opened in July, more than a year after an especially rainy winter caused a mudslide that buried Highway 1 in 6 million cubic yards of dirt and rock near Mud Creek, about 34 miles north of Cambria and nine miles north of the San Luis Obispo-Monterey County line.
The mudslide reshaped the coastline and covered the old road to such an extent that Caltrans opted to build a new path over the land mass it created.
John Madonna Construction built the new $54 million road and completed the project two months earlier than expected.
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