Travelers still hoping to drive on scenic but sidelined Highway 1 from L.A. to San Francisco will have to wait. Fixing the biggest debris slide in the state’s history, which closed the road to all traffic for almost four months, will take at least until late summer of 2018 and cost $40 million, Caltrans said in a statement Monday.
Mud Creek slide, south of Big Sur near Salmon Creek, rained 5 million cubic yards of rocks and debris on a third of a mile of Highway 1 on May 20.
Now Caltrans is working to realign the roadway in a project that will take almost a year. “The new highway will run over the landslide — in an area no longer moving — and be protected with embankments, berms, rocks, culverts, netting and other material ...,” Joseph Serna wrote in an L.A. Times story on Aug. 2.
It’s one of several places where the road was damaged and remains closed after heavy storms last winter.
Caltrans gave these additional updates for Highway 1 closures in the Big Sur area:
--New girders have been lowered into place for the replacement of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, which buckled and was later demolished in March. It is expected to be completed in mid-October.
--A closure at Paul’s Slide, about 12 miles north of the Mud Creek slide, reopened to one-way reversing traffic on July 17.
Still, don’t give up on a visit.
Businesses on both sides of the closures are open. You can access an isolated 35 miles of the highway between the two closures, roughly from Gorda (at mile marker 10) to just south of Pfeiffer Canyon (at mile marker 45.5), by taking the inland Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.