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Caltrans is estimating it can reopen Highway 1 — and reconnect Southern California with Big Sur and points beyond — by early summer.

The highway closed Jan. 28 after a 150-foot section at Rat Creek was washed out by heavy rains that caused debris flow at the creek in Monterey County.

In a release Thursday, Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said, “We’re focused on restoring travel on this section by early summer.” The repair cost is estimated at $11.5 million, involving “the manipulation of tens of thousands of cubic yards of material.”

However, officials also warned that more wet weather could slow the work.

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