NewsLocal NewsIn Your CommunityCambria


Hwy 1 is still closed at Paul's Slide. How that's impacting visitors to the North Coast

Paul's Slide on Highway 1
Posted at 5:25 PM, Oct 24, 2023

Repairs at Paul’s Slide are moving along on Highway 1 following the winter storms. While some businesses in local communities say they haven't been too impacted, others are seeing something different.

Highway 1 brings visitors to the Central Coast from both the north and the south. During the winter storms, Highway 1 at Paul’s Slide was closed due to debris flooding the roadway.

“The normal tourist traffic running from San Francisco to Los Angeles down Highway 1, obviously we’re not seeing that the same way. There’s definitely been a slowdown in some traffic over the course of this last summer," said Dan Falat, California State Parks District Superintendent for the San Luis Obispo Coast District. "We did see a decrease of about 17 percent of our visitation. That’s not entirely attributed to it, but obviously, with the travel and folks getting out and enjoying the summer, people have to use different routes and plan accordingly. So there’s definitely an impact. We do understand that Caltrans is doing the best they can with the ever-fluid situation."

Caltrans crews have been working seven days a week at Paul’s Slide since February, but obstacles remain — the slide continues to be active, falling onto the roadway.

“We’re literally creating a roadway where there isn’t one anymore. We’ve had to design a new repair which will elevate the road slightly, bring it inland and increase the catchment area. That’s the distance between the northbound lane and the mountain itself that will continue to rain debris in that area. We’re able to create a space where we're able to get in there and maintain that area and hopefully, the larger space will mean that the roadway can stay open longer and during future storms," said Kevin Drabinski, Caltrans District 5 spokesperson.

While many businesses say they haven’t seen an impact, others have.

“Having the road closed probably affects things more than that. As long as the Hearst Castle is open, that’s where we really get our business from, they find a way to get people to the castle," said Evelyn Davis Morales, San Simeon restaurant owner.

As winter is steadily approaching, Caltrans says it’s still unknown when Highway 1 will fully reopen.