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Multiple active landslides keeping Highway 1 closed along Big Sur coast

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 20:38:48-05

It could be a month before Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast is fully reopened to traffic again.

Caltrans says repair work is underway on three major landslides -- Paul's Slide, the Mill Creek Slide, and Polar Star.

At Paul's Slide in Monterey County, Caltrans says the k-rail and flexible rockfall fence that were installed to catch falling rocks and debris are no longer working and the slide has moved into the roadway.

At the Mill Creek Slide, water and mud are still flowing onto the highway after crews cut through the saturated soil that made up the landslide material. Caltrans says the slope above the highway is likely to have a catastrophic failure in the near future and work at that location has been stopped until crews can reach the slide from above.

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Mill Creek Slide on Highway 1

The slide at Polar Star in San Luis Obispo County has also remained active as crews have been working to remove the slide material from the roadway. Caltrans says as of Jan. 21, crews have been working down from the top of the slide and are making good progress, but the work continues to bring material down onto the roadway.

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Work on the Polar Star slide on Highway 1

Caltrans estimates work at each site could take up to four weeks before they're able to reopen the road.

A full closure of Highway 1 is currently in place from the Elephant Seal Vista area four miles north of San Simeon to the Lime Creek Bridge.