Weather

Highway 1 in Big Sur will close as ‘significant’ storm approaches the coast

Why is Highway 1 cracking at Mud Creek?

A few weeks after scenic Highway 1 reopened to Big Sur, cracks have appeared in the pavement as the new roadway settles at the site of the Mud Creek Slide.
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A few weeks after scenic Highway 1 reopened to Big Sur, cracks have appeared in the pavement as the new roadway settles at the site of the Mud Creek Slide.

Highway 1 will close Tuesday as a “significant storm” approaches the Central Coast, Caltrans announced Monday.

The closure, which will occur at both the Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide areas, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to an emailed news release from Caltrans.

Gates on either side of Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide will be locked and will not be manned once the highway closes, Caltrans said.

Once those gates close, no one — not even emergency services or Caltrans employees — will be let through until authorities inspect the area and perform any necessary cleanup.

When both spots are closed, the only access to the stretch of Highway 1 in between will be via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road over the coastal mountains to Highway 101.

The notices will only apply to the Paul’s Slide and Mud Creek Slide areas, Caltrans said in the release. Each area will be treated separately and one may be open while the other may not, depending on the agency’s assessment.

On Wednesday, a “vigorous” cold front is forecast to move through the Central Coast, producing heavy rain — and a potential atmospheric river, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.

Rainfall amounts during the storm are expected to range between 1.50 and 3.00 inches.

The first cars drive along the newly opened section of Highway 1 across the Mud Creek Slide near Big Sur Wednesday morning. The road was closed for over a year after the massive landslide wiped out Hwy. 1.

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Gabby Ferreira is a breaking news and general assignment reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. A native of Houston, Texas, she was a reporter in Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Palm Springs, California, before moving to San Luis Obispo County in 2016.

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