Highway 1 reopens between Big Sur and Carmel, but southern sections remain closed

The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 buckled and slid because of heavy rains in mid-February. The bridge, shown here March 8, has left a gap in the roadway until a replacement bridge can be built.
(LiPo Ching / Associated Press)

It’s been a rough winter for Highway 1, but finally there’s a little good news. The coastal route that has been dogged by mudslides, downed trees and damage from heavy rains reopened Tuesday afternoon between Big Sur and Carmel, Caltrans reports.

That means visitors coming from the north will once again be able to access part of Big Sur, which had been cut off to travelers by a failed bridge and road closures since mid-February.

The northern part of Highway 1 had been closed to traffic in both directions at Palo Colorado Road near Rocky Point, about 10 miles from Carmel.

Now it’s open roughly as far as the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, which was supposed to be demolished Monday. Problems with positioning the crane and a wrecking ball to smash the buckling span have forced a delay.

Once the demolition is complete, work will begin on building a replacement, which could take up to a year.


Traffic closures in both directions remain in the southern part of Highway 1. Drivers heading north from Cambria and San Simeon will get no farther than Ragged Point. Parts of the road near the towns of Lucia and Gorda remain closed too.

Stay up to date on Highway 1 closures online at Caltrans Quick Map.


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