Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 10:05 pm | Fair 66º


Local News

Highway 1 Between Cambria and Carmel Has a Reopening Date After Giant Landslide

If July 20 target holds, it will have been 547 days since you could last drive the coast to Big Sur

Construction work to repair giant landslide on Highway 1. Click to view larger
Work continued to repair the damage from the giant Mud Creek landslide along Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County. There are reports that the roadway, a popular route from Cambria to Carmel, will reopen on July 20. (Joe Johnston / San Luis Obispo Tribune photo)

Highway 1 up the Big Sur Coast will reopen from Cambria to Carmel by Friday, July 20, Caltrans confirmed on Tuesday.

Colin Jones, chief spokesman for the district’s Caltrans office, said a public ribbon cutting will be held at 11 a.m. on July 20 at the Ragged Point Inn to celebrate the complete of roadwork at the Mud Creek Slide, which has been closed for more than a year.

Caltrans recently had been projecting the road would reopen at the end of July, but the date has been widely rumored to be earlier than that.

“We’re very pleased to share this long-awaited news with everyone who travels along this international destination and the many businesses that benefit from the coast highway,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “Mud Creek is the last closure point so travelers will be able to take Highway 1 all the way through Big Sur for the first time in 18 months."

Mel McColloch, president of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, is among those who said for months that the road would reopen earlier than expected. 

He notified his members by email on Tuesday, July 3, that “the ribbon cutting for opening the highway will take place on the 20th of July. The highway should be open by that date.” However, he did say he’d send a final update “as soon as I get a date for the highway to open.”

McColloch has visited the Mud Creek site frequently and reported his observations at least monthly to his members. 

Map Click to view larger
(San Luis Obispo Tribune)

Jones said that, when it does happen, the ribbon cutting could be at the site or at the Ragged Point Inn, where there’s more parking.

Once Caltrans reopens the road at Mud Creek, some work will continue on various areas of the 100-mile stretch of the internationally famous scenic All-American Road, but travelers will be able to get through.

If July 20 holds as the reopening date, it will have been a long 547 days that Big Sur’s Highway 1 has been closed in one area or another. 

The closure has been tough on affected businesses, tourism at Hearst Castle, and area residents. 

Some entrepreneurs whose business survival is dependent on the tourist trade have been teetering on the edge of having to close up shop.

Kathe Tanner is a reported with the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact her at [email protected]

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