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A part of Highway 1 in Big Sur has reopened, but other issues remain on the coastal route

Big Sur got a bit of good news earlier this week: A 35-mile stretch of Highway 1 reopened to traffic after having been closed for months by a winter-storm landslide.

The road at Paul’s Slide, near the town of Lucia, opened Monday as far south as Gorda, with a single lane handling one-way controlled traffic, according to a Caltrans statement.

What does this mean for travelers? The newly reopened part of California’s premier coastal route remains hemmed in by closures to the north and south. But you can drive this cutoff part of Highway 1 by driving inland to the 101 Freeway and cutting over to the coast on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.

A Caltrans map of Highway 1 closures that remain in place as of July 18.
A Caltrans map of Highway 1 closures that remain in place as of July 18. (Caltrans)

Businesses on both sides of the closures, such as the landmark Nepenthe’s restaurant, the Big Sur Tap House and the Big Sur Deli, are open.

Elsewhere on Highway 1, the road remains closed to all traffic at Pfeiffer Canyon, where a bridge washed out in February and was demolished in March. Caltrans is working to replace the structure.

Debris covers Highway 1 at Mud Creek in Big Sur.
Debris covers Highway 1 at Mud Creek in Big Sur. (John Madonna / Caltrans)

The most problematic damage to the road is at Mud Creek, where a debris slide in May covered about a third of a mile of Highway 1. No opening date has been announced.

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