Iconic stretch of California coastal highway faces closures

File - In this May 25, 2017, file photo, Cal Trans public affairs officer Jessica Biro photographs the southern end of the Mud Creek slide as it covers Highway One in southern Monterey County on the coast in Big Sur, Calif. The California Department of Transportation plans to temporarily close landslide-plagued Highway 1 on the southern Big Sur coast when there are forecasts of significant rains this winter. The Monterey Herald reports Caltrans will notify the public 48 hours before any potential closures, which would take place at Mud Creek or Paul's Slide.

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — Officials plan to temporarily close an iconic stretch of California’s landslide-plagued Highway 1 on the Big Sur coast this winter when forecasts of significant rain emerge.

Highway 1 is a major scenic route for tourists driving between Los Angeles and San Francisco as well as a lifeline for small communities along the rugged coast.

The Monterey Herald reports the California Department of Transportation will provide two days of notice before closures for the Mud Creek or Paul’s Slide areas.

Closures could occur at one or both locations, with crews locking gates across the highway. It asked for patience during any closures.

The agency in a statement said the heavy rainfall during the winter of 2017 caused significant landslides at many spots along Highway 1.

In one major landslide, 6 million cubic yards (4.6 million cubic meters) of dirt and rocks covered a quarter-mile (0.4-kilometer) of the two-lane highway at Mud Creek, north of the Monterey-San Luis Obispo county line.

Highway 1 was reconstructed over the top of the slide at a cost of $54 million and it reopened in July 2018.

Among other damage along the route, the 2017 storms triggered a landslide that wrecked a bridge, requiring a $24 million replacement.

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Information from: The Monterey County Herald, http://www.montereyherald.com

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