Caltrans has begun working on a section of Highway 1 near Bodega Bay that has been crumbling.

Jeffrey Schaub/KCBS Radio

Highway 1 Crumbles Along Sonoma Coast

Jeffrey Schaub
May 23, 2019 - 2:11 pm

A section of Highway 1 near Bodega Bay has been limited to one lane and will create backups for Memorial Day weekend as Caltrans seeks to shore up the deteriorating roadway.

The crumbling stretch of the highway sits atop a cliff just a few miles north of Bodega Bay. Every year, about 14 inches gets worn away, but now it threatens to crash into the Pacific Ocean below. 

Caltrans has scheduled a community meeting in Bodega Bay on Thursday to discuss its plans for avoiding a disaster and fixing the road. 

Last week, Caltrans installed a rarity along Highway 1: a traffic light.

“I’m glad they have it down to one [lane>,” said Pam Dornfeld who lives nearby. “There’s no way I’m driving through that dip and gonna see if I’m the lucky one who wins the lottery and goes down.”  

Caltrans hopes to temporarily shore up the sliding section of road. There is a long-term plan to reroute the entire road 400 feet inland, including constructing a bridge.

“It’s very unstable,” said Jason Bergen, a foreman who's working on another vulnerable section of the highway. “There’s a lot of construction going on around here and there are a lot of slides.”

Long backups at the traffic lights will be a rude awakening this summer, said Peggy Bletchley. 

“Memorial Day weekend, probably a lot of people are going to be surprised."