Highway 1 in Big Sur has reopened to traffic, allowing travelers to drive the coastal route without having to take cumbersome detours. Caltrans had closed sensitive parts of the road Friday on forecasts of heavy rain, fearing fallen rocks and debris could damage or block it. It took until Wednesday afternoon to clean up and reopen two known slide areas.
The roughly three-mile temporary closure called Paul’s Slide south of the community of Lucia reopened at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Workers removed heavy mud and boulders that were blocking the route.
A second slide area at Mud Creek, about 34 miles north of Cambria, reopened 4 p.m. Tuesday. It’s the newest stretch of the road, which had been reconstructed after a massive landslide in May 2017.
The two Big Sur slide areas are prone to falling rock and damage in heavy storms. Caltrans now closes the road ahead of rain when it receives notice from the National Weather Service of “a significant storm” and reopens it after crews have completed safety inspections.