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Hwy 1 at Rat Creek to reopen this Friday

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Posted at 10:47 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 17:15:31-04

Highway 1 at Rat Creek in the Big Sur area will reopen to traffic this Friday, April 23 at noon.

It's been closed since a debris flow washed away about 150 feet of the roadway during a heavy rainstorm on January 28.

Road construction crews have been working to rebuild the section of the highway, using 45,000 cubic yards of dirt to fill the canyon in a triangle shape and laying a new roadway on top.

The reopening is scheduled one week earlier than previously announced; however, Caltrans says some construction activities will continue even after the highway is open.

That includes installation of a permanent guardrail, construction of headwalls at the culvert inlets, final grading features, and placement of erosion control measures on both sides of the roadway.

Crews will also need to tunnel underneath the new road to install a 10-foot diameter, one-inch thick steel pipe culvert from the canyon to the ocean. Caltrans says this will improve water flow during future storms. Three smaller culverts have already been installed closer to the grade of the highway.

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Inlets for redundant culverts at east side of the roadway. (Photo taken April 14, 2021, courtesy of Caltrans)
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Two 24-inch culverts outlet over slope on west side of roadway. (Photo take April 14, 2021, courtesy of Caltrans)

Motorists may experience traffic control and approximately 10-minute delays while this road work continues over the next few months.