Highway One is closed to thru traffic

Header Photo, Rat Creek by Heath Johnston, Supervisor, Cal Trans Big Sur Station

It washed out at Rat Creek, at Mile Marker 30, south of Esalen, on Thursday, 1/28/21, and as of now there is no expected time line for repairing it. When there is, I will add it here. I am asked hundreds of times during slides where the slide is in relation to something else. The following link will answer that question for you.

7 am, 1/29/21 Photo by Heath Johnston

Interactive Highway Map with Mile Markers and slide names is to the right, under “Pages” first one *Big Sur Interactive Maps… if the following link doesn’t work. *Big Sur Interactive Slide Maps will answer any questions you may have about where something is in relation to something else.

There is a fascinating historical study of the road closures of Highway One in Big Sur contacted for by Cal Trans in 2000. It is well worth your time. History of Road Closures in Big Sur

Also, just a reminder that there is an entire page devoted to the history and information about Highway One. Here is the link: https://bigsurkate.blog/history-info-on-highway-one/

17 thoughts on “Highway One is closed to thru traffic

  1. One of my favorite songs to listen to in my car as I travel HWY 1 –

    Big Sur, the wild land 1,200+ of us call home.

    After the MLK fiasco- I knew, SHE would POP-

    SHE= Mother Sur- the Steward of this Coast. xoxoxox

  2. Thanks for keeping us up to date, Kate. Stay safe & dry up there.
    Cheers, Pete Tillman

  3. Loks like they should add a big culvert under the hwy there and a debri barrrier on the east side of hwy….guess no jade picking for awhile for us monterey guys….

  4. At some point, Caltrans is going to have to do what China does, just build a 100-mile bridge on concrete posts out in the water.

  5. Any chance this road will be fixed by next week? Or at least a temporary ramp/jump to get past the slide?

  6. A thought to consider for the future:

    If CalTrans work crews were stationed at potential culvert blockage sites-
    to keep the debris from clogging the culvert-
    as a large storm was anticipated,
    the cost might be kept to the tens of thousands of dollars,
    rather than millions of dollars and a year of inconvenience.

    Rat Creek was known to be susceptible to erosion due to the proximity to the fire burn scar.
    With some administrative foresight to maintain workers on site, this slip might have been avoided.

  7. Rat creek had slightly smaller debris flow in October 1985 following the Rat creek fire. Helmuth Morgenrath had been hired to clear out around the same culvert that failed last Wednesday night. It survived in ‘85. This will happen again some day. I hope they don’t just put in another culvert and fill it. The massive amount of debris, including many 20-50 ft. redwood logs, simply won’t fit through a 6 foot culvert. I witnessed such debris knocking the culvert over and plugging the drainage.

  8. More than a two month fix? I think our Highway 1 camper van trip is about to be canceled for the second year in a row.

  9. Christopher G – “At some point, Caltrans is going to have to do what China does, just build a 100-mile bridge on concrete posts out in the water.”

    Funny you mention that, because I wrote a post on that very thing back in July 2017 after the other major landslide. It has always seemed to me that there are areas or regions of Hwy 1 which will never truly be safe and conquerable. So why not alternatives which may seem expensive, but in the long run cheaper and safer for people and wildlife.


  10. Major bummer! I’m sad to read that all y’all are going through this yet again – but (and I’m sorry to write this) it’s probably only going to get worse as time and climate change go on. We were burned out by a major wildfire here in southern Oregon back in September (the Almeda fire) and the fire, which was driven by freak high winds, wasn’t in or near any forested area, just brush, blackberries and cottonwood trees along a creek that were super dry due to drought. Anyway, grit yer teeth, cinch ‘er up and good luck to you all.

  11. The “Interactive” map does not go down to mile marker 30 so how can we see where the slide is located relative to other facilities?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.