BIG SUR – Work continues along Highway 1 at Paul’s Slide where crews have been repairing the roadway since last year, but with the recent storm, a new rockslide has extended the road’s closure northward.
Highway 1 at Paul’s Slide is still on track to reopen later this spring, even with the advent of the new slide north of the work site, according to Caltrans District 5 spokesperson Jim Shivers.
On Thursday, Caltrans reported that due to active slide activity, the northern closure on Highway 1, previously located at Paul’s Slide at post mile 22, has moved north to post mile 29.7, just north of Big Creek Bridge.
Post mile 29.7 is located at Dolan Point along the path of Highway 1. The distance between Dolan Point and Limekiln State Park – post mile 20.76 – where the closure south of Paul’s Slide is located, is about 10 miles.
The stretch is closed to pedestrian, vehicle and bike traffic due to the potential of more slides and construction activities at Paul’s Slide.
“I’m not sure of total business/residents in the area,” said Shivers. “Traffic is light this time of year, partly due to the closures. In the past we have escorted residents to make important or health-related trips. Some convoys are being planned to assist people between the two closure points.”
Highway 1 is open on the north end through Big Sur down to Dolan Point and open on the southern end from Limekiln State Park to San Luis Obispo County and beyond.
Caltrans and contracted crews are on site to clear debris and stabilize the hillside above the roadway at the rockslide on Highway 1 near Big Creek Bridge and Dolan Point.
There is no estimated time for reopening Highway 1 at the post mile 29.7 Dolan Point northern closure, though Shivers said that “assessments are ongoing (Friday).”
The work being done to deal with the rockslide near Dolan Point is not taking away from the Paul’s Slide repair project at all, said Shivers.
Crews have had to suspend repair work at Paul’s Slide in the days immediately before and after recent rain events, said Caltrans. However, the rain has not had a significant adverse effect on the repair site overall. Crews have been able to safeguard the progress on the south end of the slide which includes the fill area established to support the new roadway alignment. At the north end of the slide, a temporary catchment area has served to safeguard the future alignment of the roadway from stormwater and runoff.
Repairs at Paul’s Slide will continue to be affected by site conditions and weather, according to Caltrans. In the event of slide activity, crews will need to pivot to react to those conditions which would necessarily take away from time devoted to repair work. Additional rain this winter will also detract from active repair production days. Crews will continue to work seven days a week as conditions permit.
But many factors go into Caltrans’ ability to pound away at its repair work at Paul’s Slide including inclement weather.
Depending on the intensity and duration of a rain event, a single day of rain may delay production for multiple days. Production may be stopped to prepare the site in advance of forecasted rain. Once the rain event is over, resumption of production may be delayed due to saturation of the ground, or any damage caused by slide activity brought on by the rain.
Highway 1 at Paul’s Slide has been closed since mid-February 2023 when a slide wiped out the roadway with 500,000 cubic yards of material.
Road information and updates can be found on Caltrans’ District 5 Social Media platforms: X (formerly known as Twitter) at: @CaltransD5, Facebook at: Caltrans Central Coast (District 5) and Instagram at: @Caltrans_D5.