Rockslide shuts down Highway 1 on Central Coast; repairs could take a week

A rockslide covers a stretch of Highway 1 near Big Sur.
A rockslide on Wednesday forced the closure of a stretch of Highway 1 from north of Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County to Gorda in Monterey County, Caltrans reported.
(Caltrans via Associated Press)

A rockslide on California’s rugged Central Coast forced the closure of a long stretch of Highway 1 on Wednesday, and state highway authorities said it could take a week for repairs.

The closure extended from north of Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County to Gorda in Monterey County, Caltrans spokesperson Jim Shivers said in a social media post. Travelers can still drive between Gorda and Carmel.

Early Wednesday, Caltrans District 5 spokesman Jim Shivers recommended Highway 46 West and Highway 101 as detours for travelers heading north and Highway 68 and Highway 101 as options for those going south.

The slide follows record rains that pummeled California earlier in the week, spurring mudslides and flooding in parts of the state. Past storms have caused significant damage to the road, which clings to steep coastal slopes, including a monthlong shutdown earlier this year.


Shivers wrote via email that the recent slide covers the northbound lane and part of the southbound lane. Caltrans had maintenance and geotechnical teams on site Wednesday to assess the area.

In addition to the rockslide, there was concern about an unsupported rock on the slopes immediately above the roadway, according to a release from the agency.

It is expected that the work area will cover the entire road and take up to a week, Caltrans said. The agency has contracted with Papich Construction of Arroyo Grande for repairs, which are expected to cost roughly $500,000.

Mel McColloch, president of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday the rockslide could affect businesses.

“No matter how big the slide is, it’s a big impact for our local businesses, the retail shops, restaurants and motels,” McColloch said via phone.