Foul Weather Could Prompt Highway 1 Closures

Margie Shafer
November 14, 2019 - 11:38 am
Highway 1 is open from the north after repairs to the slide area just south of Rocky Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California, on Thursday April 21, 2011.

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Caltrans is warning drivers it once again plans to close Highway 1 near Big Sur during significant rainstorms.

A portion of the roadway south of Big Sur was destroyed two years ago in a landslide that dumped 6 million cubic yards on top of it. The highway was rebuilt atop the slide, and reopened to traffic in 2018.

Caltrans spokeswoman Suzana Cruz told KCBS Radio the agency works closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the weather during the rainy season.

"Whenever there is a significant rain forecasted, we do preemptive closures," Cruz said. "We first start with a 48-hour notice, and then we have a 24-hour notice. From there, we decide whether it is going to necessitate a closure, or if the storm has gone elsewhere." 

The idea is to give locals and tourists adequate time to prepare. 

"It's really good for advising the locals to get supplies, and be ready," she said. "And also for tourism. People can plan on not coming during that time."

The points of closure are located at Mud Creek and Paul's Slide. The road was closed several times last year.

"It doesn't mean anything catastrophic is going to happen," Cruz said. 

Crews inspect the roadway and and clear it during these shutdowns. 

"We try to open it as quickly as possible," said Cruz, "but we're not going to put anyone in danger."