After initially giving it a week, CALTRANS now says Highway 41 between Morro Bay and Atasacadero will remain closed until at least mid-February.
The major road has been closed since mudslides in early January left the road impassable.
“There is still 20,000 cubic yards of material on the slope above the roadway that needs to be cleared,” says Jim Shivers, a representative for CALTRANS. “The weather, combined with how difficult it is to get up above the road, will keep the road closed until mid-February.”
Crews were forced to use old roads that PG&E use to get to power lines to get on top of the roadway, then forge their own path to the edge, about 200 feet above Highway 41, from there.
“It is very dangerous work, and we have to be careful for everyone involved,” says Shivers.
For drivers, this means either using Route 46 north of the road, or heading south to Highway 101.
“It kinda sucks that we have to go around,” says Guillermo Aguilar, who lives on Highway 41 and visits his daughter in Atasacadero. “But at least there isn’t much traffic in front of my house.”
A local construction company has been contracted to help with the $1.5 million project.
CALTRANS says the weather will have a big impact on how soon they can re-open the road.