MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - Crews have been working to assess damage and remove debris at a stretch of Highway 1 that was washed out during storms last month, and now Caltrans says it has an estimated reopening timeline.
The agency said it will begin major emergency repairs at Rat Creek on March 1 and they expect that the road will be ready to reopen in early summer.
Caltrans plans to reconnect the road where a 150-foot section was washed away with what they call an "enhanced fill option." That means the canyon will be filled with dirt in a V-shape and the new road will be built on top of it, Caltrans said.
UPDATE: @CaltransD5 announces plan to rebuild #Hwy1 at Rat Creek with large embankment & new pipes for more drainage capacity. Opening set for early summer, weather permitting. Thanks for your patience, cooperation & remember: #BigSur is OPEN on both sides! @BigSurCC @bigsurkate pic.twitter.com/VRIlreNnKl— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) February 25, 2021
“Caltrans crews have been onsite since this highway section washed out in the recent storms to assess the damage, and we’re pleased to announce emergency construction begins next week to repair and reconnect the highway,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Highway 1 is an iconic roadway that connects travelers with small businesses on the Central Coast, and we’re focused on restoring travel on this section by early summer."
The enhanced fill option also includes replacing the main drainage system in the area with an oversized main culvert, a secondary culvert and smaller overflow culverts to increase the capacity of the system, add redundancies to make sure it can withstand debris flow and make it more resilient.
“The repairs for Highway 1 at Rat Creek include improvements that can prevent similar damage from future debris flows,” said Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins. “We look forward to swiftly making these repairs so that all travelers will have a safe and resilient stretch of highway.”
The cost of the repairs is expected to come out to about $11.5 million.
Highway 1 is currently closed between Lime Creek Bridge and Bridge Creek Vista Point in Monterey County.