This week, vegetation is being removed on the side of Highway 1 in Morro Bay.
If you’re planning on traveling the stretch of road, you may experience a slight slowdown.
Mounds of roadside vegetation are being cleared near the Morro Bay Boulevard offramp. It's an area where some encampments used to be mixed in the thick brush but now it’s mostly filled with trash left behind.
“The creek, the environment has been hit really hard with the homeless,” said Minas Kurkeyerian, vice president of Hinson’s Tire and Auto. “There's quite a few refrigerators, microwaves, just all kinds of different types of items that are blocking the creek, blocking the flow and also creating a big fire hazard as well.”
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday, Caltrans will be clearing the trees and shrubbery that’s been covering the heaps of trash. It’s an area that butts up to Hinson’s Tire and Auto located on Quintana Road.
The company says they’ve recently found people sleeping in their U-Haul trucks.
“There's a desperate need for help. Just trying to figure out how to help them is going to be the issue,” Kurkeyerian explained.
Morro Bay police say Transitions-Mental Health Association recently started to accompany officers out on patrol on Wednesdays.
The goal of the cleanup is to reduce the likelihood of any future encampments along Quintana Road and southbound Highway 1.
“This is kind of a second stage to assist with maintaining proper safety along Highway 1,” said Commander Amy Watkins of the Morro Bay Police Department.
Back in December of 2021, there was an encampment cleanup due to them being too close to the highway.
During this week’s closure, anyone who would typically use the southbound offramp at Morro Bay Boulevard is encouraged to use the Main Street exit or continue past South Bay Boulevard and use the Quintana Road exit.
Work is also happening along South Bay Boulevard. The closure there will last through April while construction continues on the city’s water reclamation facility pipelines.