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A scenic stretch of Highway 1 near Big Sur that collapsed because of a winter storm this week will cost millions of dollars to repair, and it is unclear how long it will take before the roadway is fixed, officials said.

The highway collapse occurred Thursday about 15 miles south of Big Sur, officials said.

Caltrans earlier closed 40 miles of Highway 1 between Fullers Lookout and the San Luis Obispo County line after a winter storm threatened mudslides near the Dolan Fire burn scar, officials said. The wildfire last fall burned over 128,000 acres, destroying vegetation and causing the soil to weaken.

“We wanted to have the closure in place just in case evacuations become mandatory,” said Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers. Evacuation orders were never issued for the portion of the highway that collapsed, Shivers said.

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