MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Over the past couple years, Caltrans has closed parts of Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast when heavy rain is forecasted during the winter, but the California Highway Patrol said it will not happen this year.
The stretches of road were closed due to concerns about landslides at Mud Creek and Paul's Slide, but due to advanced monitoring assessment at the slides, the CHP said Caltrans has decided not do do preemptive closures this winter.
“Our absolute priority for Highway 1 and the Big Sur Coast is safety, for the local community, the travelling public, and our road maintenance crews," said Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins. "Our continuous measurement and monitoring of these slides give us confidence that we will be able to react to any activity there without having to close the highway in advance.”
The agency said its annual work to prepare the Highway for winter has taken on a new dimension, and crews are making progress in areas affected by the Dolan Fire, which started in August and is still 98% contained. Because the areas around the fire's burn scar are susceptible to potential debris flows, Caltrans says its crews are inspecting and fortifying drains and culvurts along the road.
Crews have also armored the entrance to the culverts and installed flexible debris flow barriers.