Update: As of 12:00pm on Friday, November 30, Highway 1 is back open at Paul's Slide and Mud Creek.
With heavy rain comes the threat of mudslides. So with rain in the forecast, CalTrans is temporarily closing two sections of Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast.
The first closure is about 30 miles south of Big Sur village. It’s an area called Paul’s Slide. It’s been active with falling dirt and rock since January of 2017.
Starting Wednesday morning, CalTrans will lock gates across Highway 1 on either side of Paul’s Slide. It will also block off the road further south at Mud Creek.
Mud Creek is where CalTrans just completed a $54-million road replacement for a stretch of the highway that had been wiped out by a landslide in May of 2017.
“You know we do the man made thing, and then nature and Mother Nature do their own adjusting because we come in and alter the terrain basically. So when we did that with Mud Creek we need to monitor it and make sure that it stabilizes like it should,” says CalTrans spokesperson Susana Cruz.
CalTrans plans to continue with these types of temporary closures as needed throughout the winter. Each time they’ll give the handful of residents who live in the area 48 hours notice.
“You know if you have a backup generator, if you have groceries you need to get. The storm may or may not pan out, but this is an alert for you to have your ducks in a row if you want to,” says Cruz.
Both closures will begin Wednesday morning and last through the duration of the storm. Highway 1 will re-open in both areas after geologists say it’s safe and crews clean up any slides.