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Highway 1 set to reopen by Friday

UPDATE: Highway 1 at Alder Creek is open »

Good news for travelers, business people and those who love driving Highway 1 to Big Sur: After several landslides and a slip-away kept the All-American Byway closed at one place or another since March 16, Caltrans expects to reopen the highway by Friday at the latest slide site, eight miles north of the Monterey County line.

A massive landslide closed the road at that spot April 14. What ensued was a $5 million project to remove a hillside’s worth of rock and dirt.

Drivers, bicyclists and hardy pedestrians will be able to traverse the scenic, cliff-hugging route between Cambria and Carmel for the first time in nearly three months. It also means Big Sur residents will once again be able to come south to do their shopping, make doctor’s appointments and run other errands.

“It’s awesome, amazing unbelievable the great work that’s been done up there,” Jim Shivers of Caltrans said Tuesday.

There will still be some slow-down areas where work is continuing along the route, including at Rocky Creek at the north end of Big Sur with a stoplight reversing one-way traffic.

“I’m overjoyed! This is our official beginning of summer,” said Rody Salkeld of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce. The projected opening is earlier than expected. “I’m sure the businesses will be thrilled,” Salkeld said.

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