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Headed to Big Sur? Here’s why you won’t want to travel Hwy. 1 at night

Highway 1 connects SLO to the county’s North Coast

Before rising into the Big Sur Coast, California's scenic Highway 1 traces much of San Luis Obispo County's northern shoreline, passing through Morro Bay, Cayucos and Cambria.
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Before rising into the Big Sur Coast, California's scenic Highway 1 traces much of San Luis Obispo County's northern shoreline, passing through Morro Bay, Cayucos and Cambria.

Take your patience with you if you’re heading up the North Coast on Highway 1 toward Big Sur.

Nighttime travel on that stretch of the All-American Highway will come to a halt in full overnight closures from Sunday nights through Friday mornings (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) from San Carpoforo Creek Bridge to just south of Ragged Point, starting Monday, Aug. 12.

According to Caltrans, there’ll also be daytime one-way reversing lane closures for that job from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Emergency crews and residents reportedly will be allowed to pass through the construction zone, where crews are building the foundation for a viaduct.

Caltrans expects the nighttime hard closures in that area will continue until late August or early September, at which point a temporary traffic signal should have been installed and activated. Agency spokesmen say that signal would allow traffic to proceed in each direction 24/7 until the spring of 2020, when the $4.1 million Souza Engineering project is scheduled to be finished.

Two other projects

Some alternating lane closures day and/or night will continue at a couple of other Highway 1 project sites from Cayucos north through Cambria. Full closures of some Cayucos ramps also are on the work docket.

Those projects include: A $3.2 million repaving job through September between Harmony and the northern edge of Cambria; and a $9.8 million pavement resurfacing and ramps-and-shoulders reconstruction project through November from just south of 13th Street in Cayucos to Harmony Valley Road.

For day-by-day specifics on those and other projects, go to https://lcswebreports.dot.ca.gov/searchdistricts.

When driving in any road-construction zones, remember to move over and slow down. For traffic updates in San Luis Obispo County, go to https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-5, or call 805-549-3318.

Mud Creek

There is some good news for construction-zone-frazzled motorists: Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers said he expects that the multiple daily deliveries by flatbed truck of oversized boulders up Highway 1 will end by Thursday, Aug. 15.

Those massive rocks are being used as stabilizing rip rap in the area where Highway 1 at Mud Creek was re-established after a devastating landslide in 2017 obliterated the road.

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Kathe Tanner has been writing about the people and places of SLO County’s North Coast since 1981, first as a columnist and then also as a reporter. Her career has included stints as a bakery owner, public relations director, radio host, trail guide and jewelry designer She has been a resident of Cambria for more than four decades, and if it’s happening in town, Kathe knows about it.
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