BIG SUR – A second slide in a week has hit Highway 1 along the area near repair work at Paul’s Slide, which has been ongoing since last winter.
Caltrans is working to assess, clear and repair these new landslides as rain is in the forecast mid-week and this weekend.
The latest landslide occurred late Sunday on Highway 1 just south of Big Creek Bridge at post mile 27.8. According to Caltrans, this latest slide is larger than the slide that was reported last Thursday north of Big Creek Bridge which extended the road closure’s northern end to Dolan Point. Both slides are within the nearly 10-mile stretch of the Highway 1 closure which now extends from Dolan Point on the north end at post mile 29.7 to near Kirk Creek Campground at post mile 19.9 on the southern end.
Before these two new slides, Highway 1 was closed on either end of Paul’s Slide at post mile 22.0 to the town of Lucia on the north end and to Limekiln State Park on the south end. Caltrans has extended the southern closure to Kirk Creek Campground for a better vehicle turnaround.
The first slide was reported by Caltrans last Thursday at an area 1.7 miles north of Big Creek Bridge.
“It’s still being assessed,” said Kevin Drabinski, Caltrans District 5 spokesman. “What they’ve discovered is that it cannot be removed from the bottom of the slide.”
Drabinski explained that the toe of the slide is providing a resting force and an engineer will need to determine a way to bring it down from the top.
The second slide reported Sunday is immediately south of Big Creek Bridge with both new slides being located within the perimeter of the existing closure. Caltrans says the newest slide has covered Highway 1 and has spilled onto the slope below the roadway, and it is not known if there is any damage to the highway.
“We’ll probably have a cubic yard determination of these slides,” said Drabinski, who added the first slide covered the northbound lane and most of the southbound, and the second slide covers both lanes and continues down the slope on the ocean side.
The assessments will determine the size of the slides and the amount of work it will take to correct the situations.
Highway 1 remains open for travel from the Monterey Peninsula to 6 miles south of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park on the north side, and from the Cambria and San Simeon area north to just past Kirk Creek Campground on the southern end of the closure. No vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians are permitted past the closure points due to construction activities and the potential for slides and rockfall, says Caltrans.
Caltrans and its contracted crews are on site to assess the conditions and will begin work at the new slide locations when it is safe. Work at Paul’s Slide continues uninterrupted seven days a week, according to Drabkinski
Caltrans is planning to accommodate passage through Paul’s Slide for residents located north of Paul’s Slide and south of the newest slides.
Convoys through Paul’s Slide will be scheduled daily at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. and allow for one passage each direction for locals or supplies for locals which began Sunday. Passage through Paul’s Slide will only be accommodated during times of clear, dry weather and as conditions allow for safe travel through the site.
With weather forecasts showing more winter conditions later this week, residents are encouraged to stock up on supplies in anticipation of additional winter storms and the potential for no access during inclement weather and as conditions allow for safe travel through the site.
Drabinski said Caltrans is in close contact with the National Weather Service evaluating weather conditions daily and determining the safety for convoys as well as work on the roadway.
Road information and updates can also be found on Caltrans District 5 Social Media platforms: Twitter at: @CaltransD5, Facebook at: Caltrans Central Coast (District 5) and Instagram at: Caltrans_D5.