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).
9 am – I am hearing some grumbling from locals on Caltrans’s decision to close the road. I get it, I do, but things have changed. Conditions are not like they used to be where it was understood that we locals took our chances. Now, we have clueless tourists who would also “take their chances” and then ask to be rescued and/or sue if they were injured or their vehicle was damaged. I do have concerns about even emergency vehicles not being able to get through, but I do understand the concerns of Caltrans. Safety first. Always.
UPDATE: This is the rather impressive storm coming in from the GOES Satellite, and the expected rainfall amounts through tomorrow at 4 am. (Scroll down for Highway closure update.)
CALTRANS ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF HWY. 1 AT MUD CREEK/PAUL’S SLIDE
MONTEREY COUNTY — Caltrans has received confirmation from the National Weather Service (NOAA) that a significant storm has reached the areas of Mud Creek (PM 8.9) and Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6) on State Route 1 in the Big Sur area and will close Highway 1 at Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 12 noon until further notice.
The closure initiation process will begin at 10 am with Electronic Message Signs activated and both sets of gates (Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide) closed by noon. Storm activity is forecast through tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 29.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd. (PM 18.9) is the alternate route to reach Hwy. 1 between Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide. However, there is a 12-foot height restriction at one of the bridges along this route. Please feel free to check with Fort Hunter-Liggett for more updated information on their road at: https://www.facebook.com/FortHunterLiggett.
Caltrans’ Geotech, Maintenance and Construction units are on call and prepared to inspect/clean up when the storm ends during the daylight hours and it is safe to be onsite again—we anticipate this to be Friday morning, Nov. 30. Caltrans’ goal is to open the roadway as quickly and safely as possible and our staff remains on-call 24/7.
The gates on either side of Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide will be key locked. These gates will not be manned when the highway is closed and there will be no access to anyone, including Emergency Services or Caltrans employees until a proper assessment can be made and any necessary cleanup has been completed.
NOTE: This advisory applies only to the Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide areas with each closure being treated separately—both are closing today. Please stay tuned for additional information when the roadway opens again. SEE ATTACHED CLOSURE MAP.
**48-HOUR TRAFFIC ADVISORY**
TENTATIVE TEMPORARY CLOSURE HIGHWAY 1 AT MUD CREEK/PAUL’S SLIDE
Monterey County — Caltrans has received notification from the National Weather Service (NOAA) that a significant storm is in the forecast for the next 48-hours for the areas of Mud Creek (PM 8.9) and Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6) on State Route 1 in the Big Sur area.
This advisory is for the public to be ready in the event the roadway needs to close due to a predicted significant storm and allow time for the public to prepare for the closure including stocking up on necessary supplies and making plans.
NOTE: At the 24-hour mark, an updated traffic advisory will be sent, either confirming the full closure or providing additional information. These advisories apply only to the Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide areas with each closure being treated separately.
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.
Here are some photos Nadine Clark took this am, 10/31/18 at the bridge:
And here is one by Ken Ekelund:
When I drove by today around 12:30 or so, Cal Trans completely blocked off and/or occupied ALL parking places near the bridge, even on the north bound side, all the way around the corner. They also blocked off OCR completely for parking/gawking/stopping. I was driving my huge new Sprinter van by myself, so no way to get photos without stopping in the middle of the road like a tourist. So I didn’t. But if any of you local passengers got a shot, please ship it off to me. You know all my addresses…
I guess after Lisa Krieger’s article last Friday, then the Big Sur Multi-Agency Advisrory Council meeting the same day, I guess they heard us.
Also at the Big Sur Multi-Agency Advisory Council meeting, Cal Trans announced that if they get an extreme weather advisory from NOAA, they would be locking the gates on both sides of Paul’s Slide and Mud Creek.They haven’t said anything yet, but I’m betting if there is an extreme event, Gray Slip may let go, too. Might not even take an extreme event. Suzana promised me an official announcement by tomorrow re this gating.
UPDATE: Polar and her owner, Derek Waters were reunited this afternoon. Thanks everyone for all the help!
Know this dog and who her owner is?
”I’m a ranger with State Parks here in Big Sur. This morning, someone dropped a big white dog named Polar at the Pfeiffer Big Sur kiosk. She weighs about 100 pounds and has a rabies vaccine tag from Grass Valley and 707 and 831 phone numbers, neither of which were answered. The good samaritan said he found her walking on Hwy. 1 near the Henry Miller Library.”