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Investigators identify body found at Hwy 1 construction site in Big Sur

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Posted at 10:43 AM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 01:17:32-04

Monterey County Sheriff's investigators have identified the body found Wednesday at the Rat Creek work site on Highway 1 as a Templeton woman.

Sheriff's officials say Nancy Lynn Algert, 64, had parked her vehicle along the highway and walked around the road construction site before her death. The cause of her death is unknown, but investigators do not suspect foul play.

"We don't know if she had fallen down or laid down but had passed away at some point while she was there on the job site," said Commander Darrel Simpson, Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

Algert's body was found at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday near a drainage pipe at the construction site. Authorities believe she had been there since sometime on Tuesday.

The discovery of the body caused road construction crews to stop working for the day.

The area along the Big Sur coast is unpassable while crews rebuild a section of the highway that was washed away by a debris flow during a storm in late January.

Construction resumed Thursday morning.

"I will say that today, after the discovery of the body yesterday, wasn't an ordinary workday for us," said Kevin Drabinski, Caltrans District 5 Public Information Officer. "There was a lot of checking in with team members to make sure we were doing okay."

Crews are currently gearing up to fill the canyon with dirt in a large triangle shape so they can build a new road over it.

"We've kind of set the keyway, the earth and foundation to establish a foothold where the fill can be introduced," Drabinksi explained.

Drainage is also being set up ahead of any more rain.

Meantime, there's a target finish date now penciled in for the $11.5 million project.

"We're looking at a July 1st reopening for the highway," Drabinski said. "That seems to be our goal right now and again, we'll see in March and April if we lose any days to the wet weather."

An autopsy on Algert's body was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

"And hopefully, that'll give us a little more insight but at this point, there doesn't appear to have been any foul play," Cmdr. Simpson said.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's officials say they had not received a missing person report for Algert, nor had they any previous contact with her.