Highway 1 to Shut Down in Big Sur Area This Weekend Due to Forecast of Heavy Rainfall

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The newest part of Highway 1 is the reconstructed roadway at Mud Creek along the Big Sur coast. Now, Caltrans fears heavy rains could damage the newly formed route, which reopened in July. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The newest part of Highway 1 is the reconstructed roadway at Mud Creek along the Big Sur coast. Now, Caltrans fears heavy rains could damage the newly formed route, which reopened in July. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

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With a major storm closing in on Northern California, officials announced Friday that a mudslide-prone section of Highway 1 will be closed through Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park this weekend.

The road will shut down at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Paul’s Slide area, at mile marker 21.5, and 9 a.m. Sunday at Mud Creek, mile marker 9, according to Caltrans.

Mud Creek is about 9 miles north of Ragged Point, while Paul’s Slide is just south of Lucia, the agency said.

The rugged stretch of Monterey County coastline is a popular destination for tourists, and the highway is used as a scenic route for travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Earlier this month, Caltrans said it would give 48-hour warning of any closures to allow the public time to prepare, the Monterey Herald reported.

An image of Highway 1 is seen in a post on the Big Sur Information Facebook page.
An image of Highway 1 is seen in a post on the Big Sur Information Facebook page.

Crews plan to block the two-lane highway with gates.

It’s unknown when the roadway will reopen. Caltrans said crews would assess conditions as soon as it becomes safe.

The highway was closed nearly 14 months after a massive landslide at Mud Creek in spring 2017. A quarter-mile section of the road was buried beneath 6 million cubic yards of rock and dirt after unusually heavy rains.

The thoroughfare was rebuilt on top of the debris at a cost of $54 million.

Further north on Highway 1, the scenic Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge had to be demolished and reconstructed at a $24 million cost after another 2017 landslide.

Because it will take time for the dirt beneath the new roadway to settle, Caltrans expects preemptive closures in the area to continue for another few years.

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