Highway One gets Gates

I knew when I planned to go to Morro Bay today to resupply (even though I was damn well supplied already) that it might be the last time for a long time. As I expected, Mud Creek is worse, despite the glorious weeks of sunshine. On the way home, I saw this:


IMG_2298There was another truck with a whole bunch MORE gates in back. I stopped to talk to the guys putting up the gates, and they referred me to the guy back a ways, so I backed up on the empty road and talked to him. He told me they were doing the same thing on the north side of Mud Creek, and again on both sides of Paul’s Slide. I tried to ask more questions, but all he would say is that the information would come from Susana, and that we would have 3 days notice. On the way home, I thought, hmmm… there will be a notice from Susana when I get home, and these will go be closed on Tuesday – three days from today.

This was one of two emails waiting for me when I finally got everything put away:

SR-1 Full Closure—Ragged Pt (SLO PM 72.87) to the Multi-Agency Facility “MAF”(MON PM 46.35). Please note changes since yesterday below:

· Nacimiento-Fergusson Road will open to the public on Monday, March 20.
· Public access on SR 1, using Nacimiento-Fergusson, will be to Gorda (PM 10) to the south, and to Limekiln State Park (PM 20) to the north each day between 6 am and 7 pm starting Monday, March 20.
· Residents will continue to have access between Ragged Point and the Big Sur Deli between 6 am and 7 pm starting Monday, March 20, as four gates will close the roadway overnight to store construction equipment used during the day, at the following locations: 1) south end of Mud Creek (PM 8.8); 2) north end of Mud Creek (PM 8.9); 3) North end of Limekiln Creek Bridge (PM 21.07) and 4) north end of Hermitage wall (PM 22.42).
o Emergency services will have overnight access to the locked gates (between 7 pm and 6 am).

Mud Creek (PM 8.9):
· The roadway continues to deteriorate as slide activity continues daily. Further updates about the ability to pass through this section will be provided as the slide stabilizes.
· For now, resident access will continue to be allowed daily between 6 am and 7 pm.

Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6):
· For Monday’s opportunity to resupply, access is limited to vehicles weighing 50,000 lbs., with a maximum vehicle length of 30 feet. There is a flagger at Ragged Point checking I.D.’s for residents and allowing delivery vehicles through.
· The school bus will be allowed to cross Paul’s Slide through Monday between 6 am and 7 pm.
· As mentioned yesterday, roadway reestablishment at Paul’s slide will require full closure.
· During this construction at Paul’s slide, residents will have limited access—possibly a half-hour window in the morning and the evening—but unfortunately, the school bus and resupply/deliveries will not be allowed to pass at any time.
· Work will performed 24/7 as conditions allow, and updates will continue to be provided.

· DUE TO EXTREME SAFETY CONCERNS AND THE BRIDGE’S DYNAMIC INSTABILITY, EVERYONE needs to STAY CLEAR and not get within 100 feet of either side of the bridge. This closure will be enforced.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (PM 45.5) Demolition:
Demolition of the bridge continues until complete, the north span (column three) is almost to the ground at this point. I’ve attached a couple of photos.

All business north of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge closure are open to the public.

Susana Cruz then followed up with the email:

Hi All –

We want to provide you with a quick update on the current schedule for the three biggest challenges on Highway 1:

Mud Creek (PM 8.9)
· We are in the process of developing a solution at Mud Creek. This slide is finally slowing down, allowing us to safely evaluate.
· We anticipate no public access in April.
· Local access will continue to be restricted to daylight hours and is subject to change.

Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6)
· Work on the permanent repair has begun.
· There will be no public access in April, and the probability of public access in May is low.
· Local access will be limited to two times per day, 6:30-7:00am and 7:30-8:00pm.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (PM 45.52)
· We have evaluated all possibilities and a temporary bridge for vehicular or pedestrian access is not feasible due to conflicts it would create during construction.
· We are in the midst of developing a detailed construction schedule.
· With all the information we have today, we believe that the bridge will be open to traffic in six months.

We will continue to look for all opportunities to increase access for both local residents and the public, and will keep you updated as conditions change.

Thank you for all your support and cooperation and we all get through this. We don’t expect any changes in the next few days, so please accept my sincere wishes for you to have an excellent weekend!

I would anticipate and plan on the possibility that these gates will be closed to ALL whenever there is not active work happening, and then, locals may not have access due to interference and dangerous conditions. Given the storms, my guess is that these two trouble spots will be completely closed for part or much of next week.