Caltrans plans to reopen the Paul’s Slide area of Highway 1 in Big Sur on Thursday.
It was closed earlier this week, along with the Mud Creek section of the highway, in anticipation of severe storm activity. Following the storm, crews had to clear away mud that had flowed onto the roadway.
Paul’s Slide is now scheduled to be open to traffic by 5 p.m.
However, Highway 1 will continue to be closed at Mud Creek until further notice.
On Wednesday, Caltrans reported that a portion of the roadway in that area had sunk as much as five feet.
“We knew this was going to happen after the Mud Creek repair, that the area was still moving, still shifting, still stabilizing and that’s why we are doing these preemptive closures because we knew it would take a couple of winters for everything to settle,” Caltrans District 5 spokesperson Colin Jones told KSBY on Wednesday.
The 1/4-mile section of highway at Mud Creek had to be rebuilt after it was wiped out by a massive landslide in May 2017. It reopened to the public last July.
Video shared by Caltrans on Thursday showed a large boulder sliding down the slope above the highway:
“It’s very unstable geographically and geologically being the last part of the continent, so we’ve historically had issues out there,” Jones said. “With that saturation of the ground with all the rainfall, we always see more movement along that area of Big Sur.”
As of Thursday, Caltrans said the movement at Mud Creek had slowed and paving was planned for the displaced area on Friday.
The agency said it tentatively plans to reopen the highway by 5 p.m. on Friday.