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Feb 25th
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Home Things to Do Scenic Drives California Highway 1 Hit by New Rock Slide

California Highway 1 Hit by New Rock Slide

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UPDATE 2: Caltrans will shut down California Highway 1 about 25 miles south of Big Sur from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 for crane and demolition repair work.

The area at Pitkins Curve/Rain Rocks (Mile Marker 21.3) was hit by a major rock slide on March 28, closing lanes in both directions just south of the ongoing rock shed project.

highway_1_mapNo vehicles will be allowed through the construction zone during this eight-hour period. Alternate routes in and out of Big Sur are Highways 68, 101, 46 and Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.

In addition, three more days of major repair and roadwork from Wednesday, April 4 until Friday, April 6 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. will result in traffic delays of up to one hour in duration. One-way traffic control with flaggers will be in effect.

The steep hillside remains unstable, Caltrans said. Inspection and removal of unstable rock continues. All businesses in the area remain open.

OldWestNewWest.com Travel & History Magazine will post updates as they occur.

UPDATE 1: California Highway 1 at Pitkins/Rain Rocks about 25 miles south of Big Sur will reopen to vehicles starting Friday morning, March 30, under one-way traffic control with flaggers until further notice.

highway_1_roadworkTraffic will be allowed to travel through the rock slide area from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Caltrans said.

The highway will be closed overnight daily from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. between Limekiln and Lucia, about one mile in length.

Caltrans said drivers should expect 10-15 minute delays on weekdays, and possibly longer on busy weekends.

The hillside remains unstable. Investigation of hillside conditions and removal of unstable rock continues.

OldWestNewWest.com Travel & History Magazine will post updates as they occur.

ORIGINAL STORY: California's fabled Highway 1 once again is closed in both directions south of Big Sur due to a major rockslide that came rumbling down the hillside March 28, 2012.

A Caltrans spokesperson told OldWestNewWest.com Travel & History Magazine that as of Thursday morning, March 29, the slide remains active and unstable. The largest boulder is a large as a pickup truck, the spokesperson said.
highway_1_slideThe closure is located at Pitkins/Rain Rocks (PM 21.3), about 1.8 miles south of Lucia and 25 miles south of Big Sur.

Caltrans geologists, maintenance and construction crews remain onsite clearing the debris, scaling, making repairs to the roadway and netting and conducting a more detailed inspection.

There is no estimated time of opening that section of Highway 1, although engineers and work crews are hoping to have the area cleared in time for the coming weekend. All businesses in the area remain open.

The area where the slide took place is highly unstable, and Caltrans is working to construct a rock shed and new bridge just west of the slide.

The Caltrans spokesperson said that while engineers would like to have extended the rock shed farther south, there is not enough room along the face of the hillside to allow for construction.

pitkins_rocksHighway 1 in the project area - the Big Sur Coast Highway - is a state scenic highway and a national scenic byway "All-American Road."

This stretch of highway traverses the steepest coastal slope in the contiguous United States and is world-renowned for its rugged beauty.
It is the primary road serving the Big Sur communities and a vast number of tourists. These people rely on the highway for essential and emergency services, for income, and for access to recreational sites.