Rat Creek Update, 3/12/20

Date:Friday, March 12, 2021 
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 COUNTY – Deliberate progress continues to be made at the repair site at Rat Creek.

Crews have developed a drainage plan for the site to divert rainwater coming down the canyon to minimize impacts on the work below. Temporary pipe has been connected to the existing buried culvert which, though damaged by the event, will be able to pass rainwater.

This is especially important as the months of March and April typically bring measurable rainfall to the Big Sur coast. This temporary drainage system will be in place for the duration of the fill reconstruction.

This week’s storm cycle had little impact on operations at Rat Creek. A rare snow even fell this week at the site but precipitation in this form has the advantage of allowing moisture to infiltrate the soil over time rather than all at once.

The last of the debris flow material has been removed from the canyon. An estimated 70,000 cubic yards of trees, rocks, and sediment have been taken off site. It is expected that 25,000 cubic yards of fill will be needed to be brought in to build up the support for the new roadway.

Crews have constructed steep paths on the north and south side of the canyon which will be used as haul roads to bring in fill material to the bottom of the canyon. Much like in building a home, an earthen foundation needs to be created at the bottom of the canyon to accept the fill and crews are improving the conditions in that area. Fill will be introduced into the bottom of the canyon starting early next week. 

Crews continue to work 7 days per week during daylight hours.  

The State Director for Caltrans, Toks Omishakin, visited Rat Creek on Friday, March 5, and was briefed by Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins and the maintenance and repair teams about the emergency response and the repair of Highway 1. Director Omishakin reiterated the priority the state has for the reopening of the highway so that travelers and small businesses can enjoy restored travel by early summer.

Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when 

driving through highway work zones

For traffic updates on other state highways in Monterey County, travelers may contact Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit the District 5 website at: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-5

Photos Below

Snow accumulation at Rat Creek March 10, 2021.

View from the south as Haul Roads are being constructed to the bottom of the canyon.

Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin, right, reviewing Rat Creek from the south with District 5 Director Tim Gubbins on March 5, 2021.

Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin, left, speaks with District 5 Construction Chief Tim Campbell as they ascend the north side of the canyon at Rat Creek, March 5, 2021.


Kevin Drabinski

Public Information Officer

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