Caltrans officials say landslide repairs will keep Highway 1 south of Big Sur closed for months, rewriting travel plans for anyone who had been hoping to make a coastal road trip from Southern California in early spring.
Beyond that, “It is too early to establish a timeline,” Caltrans spokesman Kevin Drabinski said. Though Monterey County officials partially lifted a storm-related evacuation order in the area Monday afternoon, the debris flow in some places “is still active. … And we have rain coming as soon as tonight.”
The biggest problem is a 150-foot-long chasm where the highway used to run at Rat Creek, two miles south of the Esalen Institute. That area, authorities noted, lies below the “burn scar” left by the Dolan fire, which blackened about 125,000 acres last August.
In addition to the Rat Creek damage, authorities said about 60 points along the highway suffered damage. Many “need to dry out and stabilize before we can get in there and do full repairs and cleanup,” Drabinski said.
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