Cal Trans update on the Rat Creek slip out, 1/29/21

Date:Friday, January 29, 2021 at 6:30 pm
District:05 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties
Contact:Kevin Drabinski or Jim Shivers
Phone:(805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3237




MONTEREY and SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTIES – A debris flow from the hillside above Rat Creek on Highway 1 on the Big Sur coast overwhelmed drainage infrastructure, flowed across the highway, and eroded the road resulting in the complete loss of a segment of Highway 1 at that location.

Rat Creek is located at PM 30.2 and is two miles south of the Esalen Institute. It is about 1 mile south of the origin of the Dolan Fire in the Dolan Canyon area of Big Sur and is within the burn scar area.

On Thursday Jan. 28, Caltrans crews, working from the north doing a post rainstorm assessment of the roadway, discovered debris flow across the highway at Rat Creek. Before dark on Thursday, the lane on the coast side of the road had washed out.

On Thursday evening, Caltrans entered into a $5 million emergency contract with Papich Construction of San Luis Obispo County to assist with repair of the highway slide out.

On Friday Jan. 29, Caltrans assessment crews and emergency contractors arrived at daybreak to discover that both lanes of the highway had washed out.

At this point the damage assessment team has not issued a report on today’s findings and will continue to work this weekend. The current closure of Highway 1 from Ragged Point to Fuller’s Point just south of Deetjen’s Big Sur in remains in effect.

Businesses on Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur and south to the full closure remain open.

Barricades, cones, as well as message and directional signs are in place at both ends of the closure to alert motorists traveling in the area.

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