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Slide may block Highway 1 between Big Sur, SLO for weeks, possibly months

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MONTEREY COUNTY – Caltrans maintenance and engineering teams completed initial assessments of state Highway 1 along the Central Coast after the atmospheric river events during the last two days.

Due to the latest storm, a slide occurred on Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County, approximately one mile south of Ragged Point. The slide will likely result in the closure of Highway 1 at this location for several weeks to months depending on the weather. This location is referred to as Polar Star.

As a result, Ragged Point is effectively cut off from access from the south due to the Polar Star slide.

The southern closure of Highway 1 will remain at the elephant seal viewing area, approximately 10 miles south of Ragged Point and four miles north of San Simeon.

Slide along Highway 1 near Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County on January 5, 2023. Caltrans District 5

The northern limit for the Highway 1 closure remains just south of Deetjen's Big Sur Inn in Monterey County.

Meanwhile, Caltrans crews were able to clean up several slides in the roadway north of Ragged Point. Inspections will take place Friday morning at daybreak throughout the closure limits of Highway 1 to determine if it is safe to travel within the closure.

If the assessment is favorable, Highway 1 is scheduled to reopen between Ragged Point and Deetjen's, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. This opening is timed to take advantage of a forecasted break in the rain.

Caltrans officials added the reopening is intended for local community members within the closure area to re-supply themselves in preparation for an extended closure of Highway 1. Additionally, community members may wish to take advantage of this opening to leave the area ahead of anticipated storms.

Once Highway 1 closes between Ragged Point and Deetjen's, on Friday Jan. 6 at 5 pm, that closure is expected to remain in effect for the next 10 days in anticipation of more rain and potential damage to the roadway. Caltrans will be looking for opportunities during this period to reopen the road during breaks in the weather as long as roadway conditions allow for safe travel.

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