PHOTOS: Crews worked seven days a week to fill in a canyon-sized gap and reinforce the roadway’s base. Some finishing work will continue after the highway reopens, reconnecting the Bay Area to Southern California unimpeded along the coast.
After a late January mudslide washed out 150 feet of Highway 1, closing the iconic roadway at Rat Creek south of Monterey near Big Sur, the ribbon of pavement is set to reopen at noon on Friday, April 23 — about two months ahead of its target date, Caltrans announced.
The reopening will allow traffic to flow unimpeded along the coast between the Bay Area and Southern California.
Caltrans originally estimated the reopening would happen in early summer but has been able to accelerate that timeline because of ideal weather conditions for roadwork.
Crews worked seven days a week during daylight hours to fill the canyon with compacted dirt to the road level. Workers will establish a new road base during the next two weeks, to be followed by paving and striping.
Caltrans will continue construction work that will require intermittent traffic control at Rat Creek following the reopening as crews will install a new drainage system.
The 10-foot diameter culvert will improve water flow during storms and make the roadway more resilient to extreme weather, officials said