I will be interested in seeing how the predicted storm waves of today will impact the sea wall at Mud Creek.
The water you see above (shiny spot) is from waves pounding OVER the sea wall. The sea wall has taken a beating, even before this storm and today’s monster waves! Love to see it tomorrow.
CALTRANS RE-OPENS TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF HWY. 1 AT MUD CREEK AND PAUL’S SLIDE
MONTEREY COUNTY —After two days of significant storm activity, Caltrans’ Geotechnical Design, Construction and Maintenance staff investigated site conditions this morning. Although crews are still working, the plan is to reopen the road in the areas of Mud Creek (PM 8.9) and Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6) on State Route 1 in the Big Sur area by 12 noon today, Friday, Nov. 30.
Caltrans’ Geotech, Maintenance and Construction units will continue to be on call and prepared to inspect/clean up during the daylight hours following each storm when it is safe to be onsite again. Caltrans’ intent is to open the roadway as quickly and safely as possible and our staff remains on-call 24/7.
Reminder: When significant storms are forecasted by NOAA, the continuing protocol will be to send a 48-hour traffic advisory for the public to be ready in case the roadway needs to close due to an expected significant storm. This will allow time for the public to prepare for the closure, stock up on necessary supplies and make plans. At the 24-hour mark, we will send a traffic advisory either confirming the full closure or providing additional information. These 48 and 24-hour notices apply only to Paul’s Slide and Mud Creek—each closure will be treated separately (two separate closures, one may open, the other may not, depending on assessment).
Hmmm…someone is placing dirt back at Gray Slip where they originally took dirt from for Mud Creek. I wonder what that can mean? Oh, and the water is picking up there, too.
The latest information from the Sycamore Canyon Project manager:
This will serve as our final status update on the subject project regarding local and public traffic.
The contractor will not be working on Monday, November 12; therefore, the road will be open to the public and locals.
Between November 13 and November 16 at noon, the road will be closed to the public, but will remain open to locals, as the contractor completes the last few remaining items on the project. The contractor anticipates completing all work next week, such that once the road opens at noon on November 16, there will be no further closures related to this project.
I appreciate all the assistance that each of you provided as we navigated our way through this project.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
at Mud Creek/Paul’s Slide When Major Storms Are Forecasted by NOAA
MONTEREY COUNTY—Caltrans has announced plans to temporarily close Highway 1 at Mud Creek (PM 8.9) and/or Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6), when significant rainfall events are forecast by the National Weather Service (NOAA). Details are as follows:
When significant storms are forecasted by NOAA, we will be sending a 48-hour traffic advisory for the public to be ready in case the roadway needs to close due to an expected significant storm. This will allow time for the public to prepare for the closure, stock up on necessary supplies and make plans. At the 24-hour mark, we will send a traffic advisory either confirming the full closure or providing additional information. These 48 and 24-hour notices apply only to Paul’s Slide and Mud Creek—each closure will be treated separately (two separate closures, one may open, the other may not, depending on assessment).
Caltrans will have our Geotech, Maintenance and Construction units on call and prepared to inspect/clean up during daylight hours when the storm ends and it is safe to be on site. There will be gates on either side of Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide that will be key locked. These gates will not be manned when the highway is closed. No one, including Emergency Services or our own employees will be allowed to go through until a proper assessment can be made and any cleanup necessary has been completed.
“The heavy rainfall in the winter months of 2016/2017 resulted in significant landslide movement at many locations on Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast. The ongoing earthwork projects at Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide have reestablished a traversable route over both landslides but continued movement of the newly formed slopes and landslide features are expected in the future. Closing the highway during significant rainfall events is necessary for the safety of the traveling public and our workers,” said Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins.
Mud Creek (PM 8.9)
Mud Creek had a major slide on Saturday, May 20, 2017, dumping over 6 million cubic yards of material. The new alignment was built out on the slide material for the middle portion and on a compacted embankment on the south and north ends. The new highway extends out towards the ocean upwards of 250 feet from the original highway. The roadway is 150 to 260 feet above sea level. Natural slopes remaining from the landslide and engineered slopes above and below the roadway are anticipated to experience significant erosion and movement as the new landmass matures.
Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6)
Paul’s Slide is still active since January 2017, so the 24/7 traffic signal remains in place with recent repairs to shore up the Hermitage Wall nearby. The highway has been reestablished across the landslide but movement of the slopes above and below the roadway continue to push it toward the ocean. The ongoing project to widen the remaining roadway and protect the highway from slide material continues.
Here are some photos showing the depth and width of the cracks with measuring tape so that we can more accurately track the movement. There are also photos showing the three springs (which we believe to be different ones, but which we have no way of knowing whether they all come from one original spring) that have been exposed by Madonna Const. since they dug here to obtain fill dirt for Mud Creek. There is no indication that there is any effort being made to control the water here. You might remember from the article I published on Monday (Here) that water is the key ingredient in landslides and debris flow. “Water is the key ingredient,” said Austrian hydrologist Thomas Thaler, who studies threats to mountain communities. These photos demonstrate that.
The depth of that last crack is 60 total inches. At the end of the slide show, Rock Knocker lost his tape measurer into the crack and had to climb in there to retrieve it. That gives an idea of the width and depth, although the tape could not follow the slope of the crack, so it is actually deeper than 5 feet.
There is a historical slide south of Mud Creek that many of you may not have heard of, or may not remember. This is Gray Slip. Madonna dug into this area during the repairs to Mud Creek to obtain dirt (as if there wasn’t enough at Mud Creek?) and transport it back to Mud Creek. Rock Knocker watched from above many times as they would bring a load of dirt from Gray Slip to Mud Creek, and then turn around and do it all over again. He couldn’t figure out why they did that, and to this day does not know why.
Rock Knocker went through some of his old Gray Slip photos, and I found some in an album I put together of a few of the major slides from 1980-1993. I also have an album I made from the El Niño of 1995. I did some online research and found a couple studies from 2001 re the major slides (40 page report I downloaded into iBooks; here is a link I found to the report so that you can download it. http://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/Documents/landslides/Caltrans/SR_185/CT001mon%20Report.pdf
and another one on Erosion and Revegetation Management Report done by CSUMB and Rana Creek Restoration and Paul Kephardt done in Dec. 2000. (http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/home/showdocument?id=37877 ) Both provide some interesting insights into what we may see this winter in this spot and others.
This is a shot of Gray Slip from above taken this summer:
You can see all the water in the pit Madonna dug here in this photo from July. There are other areas not in this photo that are also showing water coming out, even now, in October, after a very dry summer season.
Earlier this month, Rock Knocker and I were coming back from a town trip south, and I asked if he could stop so I could take some photos. I had noticed quite a bit of water coming out of the hill, and noticed the cracks above where the Madonna team had dug out a pit in the mountain. I wanted to document this. He walked up and took photos on 10/8/18. He hiked up even further on 10/13/18 and took even more photos.
Throughout the coming weeks, I will be posting some of the historical photos I have of this area, some of the photos and data charts from the 2 studies mentioned above, and after I have done that, I will share some of this month’s photos. This project will take me a few weeks to complete.
I happened to get behind this just south of Cambria. When he didn’t turn in at the Windsor yard, I knew he was heading up to Mud Creek. The truck driver knows me, so when we had to stop for construction, he came back and told me this was a 12 TON boulder he was carrying. Hope it helps!