Elephant’s Trunk overnight closures Mid-May to Mid-Sept.

Today’s Date: Monday, May 4, 2015

District:          05–Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa 

                         Cruz Counties

Contact:          Jim Shivers or Susana Z. Cruz (Bilingual)

Phone:                         (805) 549-3237 or (805) 549-3138





SAN LUIS OBISPO/MONTEREY COUNTIES – A project to construct a retaining wall on State Route 1 in northern San Luis Obispo/southern Monterey Counties is now under way.  It is expected to serve as a permanent restoration effort in this area known for major slides.


Full overnight closures on State Route 1 from Gorda to Ragged Point are expected to begin in mid-May through mid-September, Sunday night through Friday morning from 9 pm until 6 am.  


Motorists traveling north/south of these closures are advised to reach their destinations before 9 pm.  Access will be maintained for local residents and all businesses along the coast will remain open during the roadwork.


Motorists can expect one-way reversing traffic control via a temporary traffic signal Monday through Fridayfrom 7 am until 4 pm with delays not expected to exceed ten minutes.


Electronic Message Boards will be activated on US Highway 101 in Paso Robles and Hwy. 1 in Carmel and Cambria to inform motorists of these highway closures.  

All local businesses will remain open during this project.




This contractor for this $9.5 million dollar project is Madonna Construction of San Luis Obispo, CA.  This project is expected to be completed in 2017.


Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway construction zones.

For traffic updates on other state highways in San Luis Obispo County, motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit the District 5 website at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/road_information.htm   

Elephant Trunk Retaining Wall Project Map 050115

# # #        


Susana Z. Cruz

Caltrans District 5

Public Information Officer/

Portavoz de Relaciones Públicas

para Caltrans en el Distrito 5

805. 549.3138


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2015-2016 winter El Niño predictions

Okay, I am reading predictions of a super El Niño, rivaling 1998. So how accurate are these predictions? Per NOAA, it depends on when the prediction is made. In Spring, NO reliability, but as we move away from Spring, the predictions become more accurate.there is a great chart that demonstrates this.  

In the meantime, this is what forecasters are saying:

NOAA’s CFSv2 model is forecasting a strong El Nino event will develop this summer and continue through 2015. Warm water along the west coast, combined with weaker than normal winds caused by El Nino will prevent nutrient rich cold water from welling up along the coast. Species that depend on nutrient upwelling will face starvation. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has an excellent El Nino forecasting model which is also predicting a strong El Nino. Because the jet stream has already gone into an El Nino pattern by moving south over the eastern Pacific ocean and Mexico and further north than normal over the eastern Atlantic ocean, the likelihood of El Nino failing to strengthen is small. Last year’s Kelvin wave failed to bring on a strong El Nino because trade winds in the south Pacific didn’t weaken but this year they have and waters along the west coast of south America have already warmed. The south Pacific has moved out of the cool mode it was in a year ago.”  

I will continue to explore and discuss this possibility as it developers, and IF it developers as predicted, I will explore what that means in terms of road closures for Big Sur by looking at what happened in 1998, the last Super El Niño.