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Highway 1 to reopen in late July at mudslide site 

State officials are moving up the expected reopening date for Highway 1 at the site of a massive landslide that occurred more than a year ago.

Construction on the quarter-mile stretch of roadway north of Ragged Point should be ready for travelers by the end of July—two months sooner than originally scheduled, Caltrans announced in a press release on June 12.

Caltrans is building the highway across the top of the Mud Creek slide, which had buried the original road with 6 million cubic yards of dirt and rubble. The new roadway will be "buttressed with a series of embankments, berms, rocks, netting, culverts, and other stabilizing material," the agency's press release stated. Redirecting the highway over the slide will be cheaper and quicker than other options, like digging a tunnel.

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF CALTRANS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF CALTRANS

The May 20, 2017, mudslide was one of the largest ever in the Big Sur area, according to Caltrans, as it created 15 additional acres of coastline. The highway's been closed to traffic for 13 months, impacting local residents and economies, including businesses in SLO County communities like San Simeon and Cambria.

"By opening the highway sooner than expected, it will boost the many Central Coast communities affected by this major landslide," Caltrans District 5 Director Richard Rosales said in a statement.

Even after the highway reopens, Caltrans expects intermittent lane closures, as roadwork "continues for several months to finalize repairs." Δ

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