Official Cal Trans Notice re Elephant’s Trunk

Today’s Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015
District: 05–Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties
Contact: Susana Z. Cruz (Bilingual) or Jim Shivers 
Phone:  (805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3237

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

*UPDATE #1* 
HIGHWAY 1 RETAINING WALL PROJECT CONTINUES NEAR THE SAN LUIS OBISPO/MONTEREY COUNTY LINE 

SAN LUIS OBISPO/MONTEREY COUNTIES – A project to construct a retaining wall on Highway 1 in northern San Luis Obispo/southern Monterey Counties is now underway.  It is expected to serve as a permanent restoration effort in this area known for major slides.
 
The next phase of the project consists of full overnight closures on Highway 1 from Gorda to Ragged Point and is scheduled to begin on Sunday night, May 31. Roadwork will take place Sunday nights through Friday mornings from tentatively 10 pm until 7 am.  
 
Motorists traveling north/south of these closures are advised to reach their destinations before 9 pm.  All businesses along the coast will remain open during the roadwork. 
 
Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control via a temporary traffic signal 24/7 except during overnight full closures. Traffic delays during the one-way traffic control will be 5-10 minutes.
 
Electronic message signs 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.
 
Note: The construction schedule may be adjusted to meet the needs of local businesses and the Pacific Valley School.

The contractor for this $9.5 million project is John Madonna Construction of San Luis Obispo, CA. This project is expected to be completed in winter of 2016.


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. Motorists can also contact the toll-free hotline from Cambria to Carmel at: 888-836-0866.

Elephant’s Trunk Construction, South Coast Big Sur

Yesterday, Cal -Trans held a community meeting at the Willow Springs Maintenace Yard regarding the 18-month long project at “Elephant’s Trunk” and “Cow Cliffs.” (I am going to work on getting Don Harlan’s paper on the various place-names for highway spots down here all on one page so that it will be easy to refer to.) It was well attended by both Cal Trans and the Community members. To accommodate businesses and locals, the times for the overnight closures have been changed to 10 pm-7am, Sunday nights through Friday mornings for a four month period which will begin on the first. The project will proceed well past that time, but like the Rocky Creek Viaduct, over night closures are necessary due to the narrowness of the road and the need to install the pilings.

Ever since the signals went in, even before they were operational, Rock Knocker expressed some misgivings about how well they would work, given the distance between them. Yesterday, just before 6 pm, we got a first hand demonstration of his concerns manifested. We were the 5th car in line when our signal turned green for us, the north-bound traffic, to proceed. We were all moving forward when a car came through toward us. We all stopped so he could wiggle through. We began to try to move forward, and again, another car came at us. Then another, and another, and another. All together, 12 cars proceeded south bound when the light was green for the north bound traffic to proceed. Either there was something wrong with the signals, or 12 different people decided to run the light. Given the length of this project, the length of the signaled area, and the curvy nature of the area, rendering oncoming traffic not visible until the last minute, it is only a matter a time before there will be an accident there, tying up traffic on Highway One for potentially a long time. I advise extreme caution when traveling through this area, north of Ragged Point. Even if your signal is green, proceed slowly and with caution.