Skip to Content

Caltrans shares timeline on when Highway 1 could fully reopen in Big Sur

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE ON MAY 15, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. : May 17th is the first time in over a month that unrestricted access will be allowed to Big Sur.

"The announcement is, is, only, you know, now 24, less than 24 hours old," said Rick Aldinger with the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce. "And so we know it's going to take a little while to get the public awareness of that and get things moving again."

Despite weather events putting a pause on repairs, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the roadway will open eight days ahead of schedule.

Caltrans spokesperson Kevin Drabinski says crews were able to fix to the northbound lane, saying if it hadn’t been stable during repairs, crews would have needed more time.

"I would like to, get out and kiss the northbound lane because it's doing yeoman's work here," Drabinski said. "And when it first closed, what we recognized almost immediately was, how state highways often serve as the main street for communities."

Drabinski also shared updates on three other slides that have impacted Big Sur for over a year now.

  • Dolan Point – repairs to be completed within the next couple of weeks
  • Paul’s Slide -  repairs to be completed late Summer 2024
  • Regents Slide – Repairs began on April 30 and will be completed by Fall 2024.

The last convoy will take place be on Thursday night. This portion of Highway 1 will reopen Friday morning with 24/7 signalized one-way alternating traffic control.

The California Highway Patrol expresses the importance of remaining patient during one-way traffic.

"We need to be patient and be cautious as we're traveling through," said CHP Monterey Officer Saul Perez California Highway Patrol. "High visual horizon, seeing the other vehicles, bicyclists, and anything that may be going on in the area now because this is great news that we're going to be opening up soon. "

Spring of 2025 is the timeframe Governor Newsom says both lanes will be open at the Highway 1 slip-out.

The Big Sur Chamber of Commerce says this is some much-needed relief and is already preparing for the upcoming holiday evening.

"The local business leaders and, property managers and operators are scurrying, of course, as you might expect to, get, schedules filled out and, and, people called back in, to, get going on Friday," said Aldinger.

The Big Sur Chamber of Commerce says there will be employees who need to get their full hours back.

And it's going to take a while before Big Sur makes a comeback from what was lost with the closure.

Governor Newsom announces that Highway 1 south of Rocky Creek Bridge will open to all vehicle traffic on Friday

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE ON MAY 14, 2024 AT 3:28 P.M.- There is finally sunny days ahead for the Big Sur community.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the Highway 1 slip-out area will be opening to all vehicle traffic starting on Friday morning at 6:30 a.m.

Newsom said that Caltrans crews have been working overtime to make the Friday opening a reality.

Originally, Caltrans had targeted Memorial Day for the road to reopen but crews were able to beat that mark by eight days.

READ MORE: Caltrans scrambles to make repairs on Highway 1 slip-out before pausing some work due to wind

Caltrans said the portion of Highway 1 will be reopen with the use of a signalized traffic control. The signal will provide unrestricted public access with one-way alternating traffic on Northbound and Southbound Highway 1.

According to Newsom, Caltrans will be designing a project to construct a permanent repair to the highway which is currently in the design phase. That project is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2025.

The road has been impacted by the rockslide since March 30 when a rockslide compromised the road on Highway 1 south of Rocky Creek Bridge which left the southbound lane impassable.

Highway 1 Convoys cancelled on Saturday due to upcoming rain

UPDATE ON APRIL 10, 2024 AT 3:48 PM- Caltrans announced that they will be cancelling convoys on Saturday due to upcoming rain.

During a news briefing, Caltrans Public Information Officer Kevin Drabinski said that they expect the convoy system to return on Sunday.

The California Highway Patrol said that 225 people rode along in the convoy on Wednesday morning.

Caltrans says they could reveal a timeline for a full reopening of the highway by Friday.

"I think we're probably in the neighborhood of somewhere around $8 million for the temporary stabilization effort," Caltrans Emergency Manager Zeke Dellamas said. "We will be able to more closely refine the estimated cost of permanent restoration."

Caltrans said that total costs including permanent repairs to the slip-out area could be in excess of $25 million.

Caltrans said that they are working to stabilize the edge of the road and once it is done a temporary traffic system will be in place.

County of Monterey lifts evacuation warnings for people who live within the Highway 1 slip-out area in Big Sur

UPDATE ON APRIL 3, 2024 AT 10:00 AM- The County of Monterey lifted an evacuation warning for people who live within the Highway 1 slip-out area in Big Sur.

County officials said the warning was for people who live in Big Sur south of the slip-out near Rocky Creek Bridge to the Dolan Slide after rain passed through on the weekend.

The warning had been in place since Wednesday.

Caltrans has resumed convoys for people who need to leave the area to get supplies. Those convoys leave at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Highway 1 convoys cancelled on Thursday and Friday due to rain in the forecast, evacuation warnings in place

UPDATE ON APRIL 2, 2024 AT 12:00 PM Caltrans and the County of Monterey announced that convoys for people stranded due to the Highway 1 slip-out near Rocky Creek Bridge will be canceled on Thursday and Friday due to expected rain this weekend.

Caltrans said crews will be on site during all rain events to inspect for any changes. Engineers will continue to monitor the site for any significant changes on the road.

Crews said that convoys are expected to resume on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

County officials want to remind the public that convoy access is limited to residents and essential workers only.

The County has also issued an evacuation warning for people who live in Big Sur in areas south of Rocky Creek.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office said the warnings are for people who live south of the Rocky Creek Slip-out at mile marker 29.5 to Dolan Slide ahead of potential showers and thunderstorms coming this weekend.

Highway 1 closure impacting Big Sur Businesses

UPDATE ON APRIL 1, 2024 AT 10:45 A.M.- Several people wanting to visit the Big Sur Coast are now being turned away because of a slip-out near Rocky Creek which is forcing a closure at Highway 1 and Palo Colorado Road.

Caltrans says the high tide and the heavy rainfall were a recipe for disaster.

"We planned to visit, like, every single point in Big Sur and study in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and, you know, head home," said Ulises Padilla, a visitor from Solvang. "But apparently, we have to know when I go back."

First time visitors to the Big Sur Coast, Maria Carranco and Ulises Padilla devastated the road slip days before their trip.

"This is my, really first time in this part of the California Coast, this area," Carranco said. "And I wanted to see it all and, now I'm not able to do that,"

Kirk Gafill who is owner of Nepenthe and president of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce says with slides on both sides of his business, he says he feels like he's on an island.

More than 50% of his business relies on customers coming from the north.

"Business levels were quite low yesterday," says Gafill. "And of course, today, going forward, until we can restore public access to Big Sur, business levels will be quite low and some businesses may elect to close temporarily."

And because of the reduction in business, there may be a reduction in the workforce.

"There will be immediate economic impacts that with each passing day, will, be greater and greater for our workforce and our, businesses," says Gafill.

There is no set timeline for when the road will be reopened to all vehicle traffic.

For now, travelers can expect to see construction crews on the highway near Palo Colorado.

Convoys are open twice a day, one at 8 am and another at 4 pm. Caltrans says tourists are highly discouraged from entering the convoy at 4 pm because – you will have to wait until the next day to get out of Big Sur.

Forecasted rain may cancel convoys for people stranded behind the Highway 1 closure

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV) -- UPDATE ON APRIL 1, 2024 AT 2:09 PM- Caltrans announced that they could potentially cancel convoys due to expected rain later this week.

Caltrans said that they are still assessing the slip-out near Rocky Creek Bridge and will place 500 feet of concrete barriers along the centerline of the roadway.

Officials said the barriers will help define a pathway for convoy vehicles and provide protection for workers working on repairs.

Monday marked the first full day of convoys being used to guide visitors and residents out of the closure. They will continue throughout the week starting at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Convoys to begin for people stranded from slip-out near Rocky Creek Bridge on Highway 1

UPDATE ON MARCH 31, 2024 AT 11:45 AM- Caltrans announced that they will be conducting convoys for anyone who is stuck in the middle of the Highway 1 Closure at Palo Colorado.

During a media briefing, Big Sur Fire said that there were at least 1,600 residents and tourists who were stranded due to the slip out.

California State Parks said they will close all parks in the Big Sur area to day use and camping until further notice. Those parks include Point Sur State Historic Park, Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Limekiln State Park.

Firefighters said majority of those people stayed at the Big Sur Lodge Conference Center to stay warm.

The County of Monterey says that If you are stranded by the Highway 1 Rocky Creek Slip out, the Big Sur Lodge has opened a conference room for those in need to have a safe place to get inside and stay warm while emergency personnel determine next steps.

CHP Monterey

Emergency personnel south of the slip are sharing information with tourists or others who may be trying to leave the area and cannot. Highway 1 is closed at Palo Colorado. This slip-out has resulted in a loss of the southbound lanes and is encroaching upon the northbound lanes, according to the County of Monterey.

Engineers returned to the slip-out which is near Rocky Creek Bridge and determined that travel will be possible in the northbound lane under close supervision.

Convoys will start at noon on Sunday to allow vehicle passage through the closure, according to Caltrans.

County of Monterey

Officials said that the convoy will lead vehicles first in the northbound direction.

Once vehicles clear in that Northbound direction, a convoy will lead vehicles through in the southbound direction of Highway 1.

Crews will also have a second convoy operation that will start at 4 p.m. that will start with the convoy leading vehicles in the northbound direction.

Caltrans said starting on Monday, there will be a convoy that will lead vehicles through the slip out area at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Crews will be on site to monitor the roadway as convoys continue to pass through the slip-out.

Caltrans said there is no estimated timeline on when the closure will be lifted for all vehicle traffic.

The County of Monterey has created an information page for the incident.

The page has current information on closures, resources and road closures. You can access the page here:

Original Story

The California Highway Patrol closed Highway 1 about two miles north of the Bixby Creek Bridge on Saturday.

Caltrans District 5 said there was a slip-out near Rocky Creek, forcing a closure at Highway 1 and Palo Colorado Road to prevent travelers from heading south. Southbound lanes have been lost and there's potential impact to the northbound lanes, according to the agency.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office and Caltrans said crews are en route and engineers would assess conditions Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

County officials said that the Big Sur Lodge has opened a conference room for visitors and residents who need to stay warm.

The current closure on Highway 1 now extends south to Limekiln State Park in Big Sur, according to Caltrans.

This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Scott Rates

Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.

Author Profile Photo

Derrick Ow

Assignment Editor for KION News Channel 5/46

Author Profile Photo

Katie Nicora

Katie Nicora is the Dayside Producer for KION News Channel 5/46


KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content