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With storms over, Highway 1 in Big Sur reopens in time for holiday weekend

With storms over, Highway 1 in Big Sur reopens in time for holiday weekend
Last week Caltrans workers removed a boulder that had fallen on Highway 1 in the Big Sur area. (Caltrans)

Highway 1 in Big Sur reopened Friday, just in time for the Presidents Day weekend. The route had been temporarily closed at two known slide areas Tuesday ahead of rainstorms forecast for the area. Once the rain passed, Caltrans inspected the areas and reopened them to traffic.

Mud Creek, about 34 miles north of Cambria, reopened at noon Friday. It’s the newest stretch of Highway 1, which had been reconstructed after a massive landslide in May 2017.

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A second closure at Paul’s Slide, from the south end of Limekiln Creek Bridge to the New Camaldoli Hermitage in the Santa Lucia Mountains, reopened at 5 p.m. Friday.

Caltrans, the agency responsible for keeping the coastal route in working order, shut the route indefinitely at 5 p.m. Tuesday, saying the road wouldn’t reopen until crews checked the Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide areas for damage.

The agency made the decision Monday based on the significant storm forecast.

The same slide areas were shut Feb. 2 and didn’t reopen for five days. During that time, heavy mud and boulders blocked parts of the roughly three-mile stretch of road at Paul’s Slide, south of the community of Lucia.

The road also was shut in the same areas because of inclement weather in late November.

Caltrans uses locked gates to close off the slide areas when a significant storm is forecast. When the rain stops, crews are dispatched to complete safety inspections.

For updates on Highway 1 closures, go to Caltrans’ QuickMap.

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