Mudslides close Highway 41 west of Atascadero
Update, 4:15 p.m.
Caltrans has closed an almost 23-mile portion of Highway 1 near Ragged Point due to multiple rock slides.
Caltrans spokesman Colin Jones said the closure begins near the San Luis Obispo and Monterey county line and ends south of Big Sur.
Crews will assess the conditions Sunday morning, Jones said.
Highway 41 remains closed on Saturday and probably won’t reopen this weekend because of a large mudslide that covered the highway Friday evening about 6 miles east of Morro Bay, a Caltrans official said Saturday.
“This is going to be closed indefinitely,” Caltrans spokesman Colin Jones said. “Fortunately, there were no injuries but that’s a pretty rugged area out there.”
Work crews are on the scene, where a mudslide from a 250-foot hillside shut down the road at about 7:30 p.m. Friday as a rainstorm swept into San Luis Obispo County. The highway is closed for about 6 miles between Two Tunnel Road and Los Altos Road, authorities said.
Drivers are advised to take Highway 46 as an alternate route.
While road crews can clear out the roadway, the greater concern is instability at the top of the slide that could topple, Jones said. The top of the slide probably will need to be cleared and stabilized before the roadway can open and traffic resume, he said.
“We have geologists and engineers and a contractor out there,” he said. Work may be halted overnight or in heavy rain, but “we will keep a close eye on it,” Jones said.
Scattered showers continued to soak the county Saturday morning but rain is expected to be moderate to heavy during the afternoon and evening,with a chance of thunderstorms overnight, according to the National Weather Service. The service has issued a wind advisory in effect until 3 a.m. Sunday for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties with gusts over 50 mph expected. The winds will bring a high risk for downed trees, the advisory said.
A coastal flooding advisory also has been issued for 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sunday. High tide will be at about 6 a.m. with waves at south-facing beaches at 5 to 7 feet and south winds blowing at 15 to 25 miles per hour.