Highway 1 closures to last weeks, months in some locations, after Central Coast rock slides

Crews continued to clean up rock-slide debris along the Big Sur coastline over the weekend in multiple locations, a process that could take months to complete.

Nearly 2,000 cubic yards of material have been removed “every day” by crews, near Ragged Point, at the Polar Star Slide in San Luis Obispo.

Highway 1 through Polar Star is expected to reopen in three weeks, “weather permitting” according to a release from Caltrans on Friday evening.

The Mill Creek slide on Jan. 15 is also expected to take three weeks to clean up, as crews used a spider excavator to “work the slide from the top down.”

This release is the 19th update the agency has provided on the Highway 1 closure since December.

Spider excavator at Mill Creek Slide, Jan. 26, 2023.
Spider excavator at Mill Creek Slide, Jan. 26, 2023.

The reopening of Highway 1 through Paul’s Slide is currently unknown.

“Unfortunately, many large-scale landslides do not release until a few months after a storm has passed, so continued monitoring at Paul’s is warranted,” the release said. “At present, it is not possible to remove debris material from the catchment area or the toe of the slide as it is providing a resisting force against the driving force of the slide from above.”

North of Paul’s Slide to Lime Creek is expected to reopen Friday, Feb. 3, for local travelers.

“Signs at southbound Highway 1 at Lime Creek will alert travelers that the road is closed except for travel by locals,” the news release said.

Caltrans will provide more updates “as more information becomes available.”