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Hwy 1 Big Sur closure shortened again

HWy 1 rat creek.jpg
Posted at 7:04 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 22:04:12-05

As road crews continue to clear debris and make repairs to Highway 1 through the Big Sur area, Caltrans is opening up more of the roadway to motorists.

The heavy rainstorm during the last week of January caused a debris flow that washed out a section of the highway at Rat Creek below the Dolan Fire burn scar.

That area was already blocked off to traffic because, in anticipation of the storm, Caltrans had closed the highway from Ragged Point in the south to Fullers Point in the north.

Last week, the southern closure was moved up to Willow Creek Road and the northern closure was moved down to South Coast Center.

As of 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, the northern closure was moved to just south of the Esalen Institute, providing full access to the last businesses on the coast before Rat Creek.

Over the weekend, Caltrans says crews will be working on a turnaround point at Lime Creek so the closure can be moved even farther south sometime next week.

Starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8, the southern closure is scheduled to move to just north of Pacific Valley.

Caltrans says the closure is expected to be moved up again in about two weeks once a turnaround under construction at the Big Creek Vista Point is completed.

Officials say there are multiple locations on the highway between Rat Creek and Big Creek Vista Point where crews are still working to clear culverts plugged with debris, remove rocks from the roadway, and make repairs.

Crews are also still assessing the damage at Rat Creek and Caltrans says it's unknown when those topographical and environmental studies and surveys will be complete.