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Feb 21st
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Home Things to Do Scenic Drives Rock Slide Again Closes California’s Big Sur Coastal Highway 1

Rock Slide Again Closes California’s Big Sur Coastal Highway 1

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Mother Nature once again indefinitely closed the fabled California Highway 1 coastal route Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, due to a major rock slide 25 miles south of Big Sur.

Heavy winter rains swept into Central California Sunday, drenching the rugged and steep hillsides, loosening tons of rocks and debris. This current major rock slide is near the small town of Lucia, and closed Highway 1 (Post Mile 22) near Limekiln Creek in both north and south directions.

highway_1California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) crews were on site early Monday monitoring and assessing the damage. Weather conditions were expected to improve Tuesday. Currently there is no estimated time as to when Highway 1 might reopen.

All Big Sur and coastal businesses will remain open, Caltrans said, with detours available for motorists.

Northbound traffic going to Big Sur is being detoured to Highway 101, then  to Highway 68 in Salinas, eastbound to Monterey and then southbound to Big Sur.

The geologically unstable area is where Caltrans crews have been attempting to build a bridge and rock shed to allow debris to fall under and over Highway 1.

The $29.5 million repair project is not scheduled to be completed before spring 2013.

The area along Highway 1 between Moro Bay and Big Sur has been a major problem rock slide area for Caltrans.

A devastating slide on April 14, 2011 completely closed Highway 1 at Alder Creek in both directions to all public traffic, including motorized vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

The Alder Creek slide was the second major blow during early 2011 to the fabled coastal road between Morro Bay and Monterey. A series of heavy late-winter and early-spring storms pounded the coast with torrential rains, washing away thousands of tons of rock and dirt.

A major portion of Highway 1, about 13 miles south of Carmel, between the Rocky Creek Bridge and the Bixby Creek Bridge, was damaged on March 16 by what was called a "crib wall" failure, dropping a major section of the roadway into the sea.