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Re-opening of Big Sur Highway 1 delayed

Californian officials say that part of Highway 1 closed by a landslide last year, will not open again until the autumn.

Work to rebuild and reopen Highway 1 at Mud Creek on the Big Sur coastline has taken longer than expected

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) officials announced last August that a new 0.4km road will traverse the site of the Mud Creek slide that happened in May 2017.

The massive landslide dumped more than 4.6M.m³ of material onto the roadway and into the ocean, creating 6ha of additional coastline, and making it the largest slide ever along the Big Sur coast.

big sur landslide

big sur landslide

The new roadway will be realigned across the landslide and will be buttressed with a series of embankments, berms, rocks, netting, culverts and other stabilising material according to department engineers and geologists.

This strategy will help Caltrans to rebuild the roadway more quickly and at a lower cost than other alternatives such as structures, a tunnel or major earthwork that puts additional fill into the ocean.

Caltrans acting district 5 director Richard Rosales said: “Our commitment is rebuilding Highway 1 and restoring traffic along the Big Sur Coast that has been cut off from the south since April 2017.”

Caltrans will evaluate the opening date as work progresses and it’s expected that when the highway is re-open, intermittent lane closures and roadworks may continue.

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