Caltrans Update, 1/19/23, with emphasis on Polar Star Slide

Date:Monday, January 19, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
District:05 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties
Contact:Kevin Drabinski or Alexa Bertola
Phone:(805) 549-3138      (805) 549-3237





MONTEREY / SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTIES – Caltrans and contracted crews continue to report throughout the day on road conditions within the Highway 1 closure area. The northern closure limit moved south on Tuesday Jan. 17 and is now located at Lime Creek at PM 32.


Caltrans is aware of the dire circumstances being faced by residents, as well as our own crew, within the closure area.Caltrans has made the resumption of resupply convoys a priority once roadway conditions permit such travel.

The rains which followed the January 13 resupply convoy made sections of the highway unpassable due to damage to the roadway. Within the last 24 hours, inspections have reported multiple locations within the closure limits where slope failures above the roadbed extended well into the roadway. New slides are occurring every day, even in areas where they have not previously occurred, due to the level of saturation of the soil due to the extended period of inclement weather.

In addition to slide activity, the rock nets at Paul’s Slide, which provide a level of protection at this site, were damaged. Repairs of these nets is underway. The removal of debris and material is necessary to allow repairs of these nets to begin.

At this time, Caltrans engineers and contractors on site indicate that the roadway is not safe for public travel at multiple locations as a result of field observations of existing damage and the unpredictability of the new failures.

Caltrans is committed to allowing for a convoy when the roadway conditions are improved enough for it to be conducted safely.  We are in conversations about the field conditions multiple times a day with our field staff and contractors. We will schedule the next convoy as soon as road conditions allow.

Polar Star

Progress is being made at the southern slide located one mile south of Ragged Point at 

a location known as Polar Star.  Crews were able to create an opening at the bottom of the slope where crews and equipment have been able to pass to the north side of the slide to address the drainage and slope from above.

This work is being conducted on an unpredictable, steep slope, near the top of the slide.

Much work needs to be done to control the drainage issues on the surface and below the surface at this site.

The top of the ridge continues to recede back away from the road in the direction of a utility pole. Caltrans and contracted crews are coordinating with PG&E to remove this pole within the next few days.

No public travel is permitted at this time through the Polar Star slide due to the treacherous and unstable nature of the slide.

The southern closure of Highway 1 will remain at the elephant seal viewing area, four miles north of San Simeon.

Road information and updates can also be found on Caltrans District 5 Social Media platforms: Twitter at: @CaltransD5, Facebook at: Caltrans Central Coast (District 5) and Instagram at: Caltrans_D5.

Our crews deserve to get home safely too.

Drive slowly and carefully in work zones.

CHP Traffic Incident Information Page:

Traveler information at:

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