Highway 1 in Big Sur has reopened after rock slide

A sign alerts drivers on Highway 1 just south of Highway 46 that ‘Highway closed 50 miles / north of Cambria bis open.’
A sign alerts drivers on Highway 1 just south of Highway 46 that ‘Highway closed 50 miles / north of Cambria bis open.’ The Tribune

UPDATE 2:09 p.m. Tuesday: Highway 1 reopened to through traffic at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, nine days after a slide blocked the road Jan. 22. Caltrans said one-way traffic signals will be in place, as they were prior to the slide, which is adjacent to the site of ongoing work on a bridge and rock-shed.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m. Monday: Caltrans estimates that Highway 1 would reopen by midweek at the rock slide site about 48 miles north of Cambria and 25 miles south of Big Sur.

Highway 1 from San Luis Obispo to Carmel is an officially designated All-American Road and is considered one of the country’s most scenic byways.

When the highway does reopen, according to the Caltrans media release, traffic will remain under one-way traffic-signal controls, as it was prior to the slide.

However, conditions and schedules could change, so those heading north are urged, before they head out, to call toll-free (800) 427-7623 for updates on current traffic conditions, or (888) 836-0866, or online, go to www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/projects/.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m. Friday: Work is continuing over the weekend to clear the landslide in the Rain Rocks area north of Gorda and reconstruct protective netting, according to Caltrans. There's no estimated reopening date yet for Highway 1 at the southern end of Big Sur.

UPDATE 3:50 p.m. Thursday: Highway 1 will remain closed, Caltrans announced this afternoon, and it will be at least “a few more days” before an estimate can be given on when the road might reopen.

A rock slide north of Gorda, in the Rain Rocks area at the south end of Big Sur, led to the road closure Sunday.

Another update is to be provided after a few more days of slide removal and progress on repairs, Caltrans said.

Caltrans said its crews are to continue working during daylight hours through the weekend, removing slide debris from the roadway and reconstructing damaged protective nets.

UPDATE 5:58 p.m. Tuesday: Caltrans announced this afternoon that the Highway 1 slide in Big Sur is still unstable, so Highway 1 will remain closed, and it will be at least Wednesday before an estimate can be made on how long it will be before the road will reopen.

UPDATE 5:26 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23: Highway 1 remained closed Monday to through traffic on the south end of Big Sur as a result of a large rock slide at Rain Rocks, just north of Limekiln Creek.

Caltrans crews assessed the damage the damage during the day, but the road was to remain closed overnight Monday and into Tuesday. No estimate was made of when the road might reopen.

Northbound motorists headed for Big Sur are advised to take Highway 101 to Highway 68 in Salinas, then east to Monterey and south to Big Sur.

Businesses north and south of the slide remain open.

For updates on road conditions, call 888-836-0866 or go to www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/road_information.htm.

Original story: Highway 1 was closed to through traffic late Sunday morning after debris covered both lanes of the road in the Rain Rocks area about 48 miles north of Cambria.

Caltrans announced the road would be closed overnight, with engineers expected to inspect the area Monday morning.

Several automated weather stations along the Santa Lucia ridge in southern Monterey County near the road closure recorded about 7 inches of rainfall Friday and Saturday.

The closure is near Pitkin’s Curve, where a four-year, nearly $30 million project to build a bridge and a rock-shed tunnel is about a year away from completion.

It was not immediately known if completion of that project would have kept the road open.

The slide is north of Gorda and Nacimiento Fergusson Road.