Travelers eager for Highway 1 to reopen in Big Sur will have to wait a little longer. It has been a year since a massive landslide rained debris down on California’s iconic coastal route, making a drive along the entire 655-mile roadway impossible.
The date for reopening has been set at mid-September as crews work to realign the highway, Caltrans announced Monday.
The slide at what’s known as Mud Creek will cost about $54 million to fix. Both lanes of a quarter-mile segment of Highway 1 — roughly between the Big Sur Ranger Station in the north and Gorda in the south — will remain temporarily shut while workers try to rebuild it on top of the slide. Crews currently are working on the northern side.
The reopening date could be reevaluated in July, the Caltrans statement said. When the road does reopen, it likely will be a single lane handling one-way controlled traffic.
In addition, another slide area called Paul’s Slide, south of Lucia, will be closed in both directions from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Monday, complicating the drive for anyone still game for a coastal getaway.
However, travelers should know that businesses on both sides of the Mud Creek closure are open — and welcoming tourists after the disastrous winter of 2017.
Heavy rains caused problems at several places on Highway 1. At one point, Big Sur was cut off from the rest of the state.
One of the biggest disasters was the collapse of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur in February 2017. It took eight months to repair, reconnecting the tourist town along a crucial part of Highway 1.