Crews dig out debris from a washed out section of Highway 1 at Rat Creek. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
The section of Highway 1 that collapsed in late January (as pictured in early February) after a heavy rainstorm near Big Sur.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
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Highway 1 to reopen south of Monterey on Friday, two months ahead of schedule

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.

The gap in Highway 1 after the collapse in January . . .
(via Caltrans)
. . . crews at work to refill it . . .
(via Caltrans)
. . . and, as of this March 26 photo, the filling of the gap is nearly complete.
. . . and, as of this March 26 photo, the filling of the gap is nearly complete.
(via Caltrans)

“Reopening Highway 1 at Rat Creek just three months after a washout of this magnitude is great news for residents, recreationalists, business owners, and those who move goods through this region,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin.

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.

Highway 1 construction.
(via CalTrans)

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


7:42 AM, Apr. 20, 2021: This story has been updated to reflect the exact opening date for Highway 1.