Work on the toboggan site causes delays on the CA 1 freeway to Big Sur

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Workers dislodged debris and rocks, followed by blasting of the rock mass on Highway 1 about two miles south of Ragged Point. The causeway was closed on December 26, but reopened with traffic control on Friday, December 31, 2021. Further work on the site could cause traffic delays of up to one hour for travelers going up the coast to Big Sur.

Caltrans Twitter

Travelers heading north from Cambria to Big Sur should be prepared for delays of up to an hour due to an “still active” landslide area where repairs are underway.

According to information released by Caltrans on Monday, weekday traffic control in the immediate vicinity of the Polar Star toboggan, one mile south of Ragged Point, near the San Luis Obispo County border with Monterey, was scheduled to begin. Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

That should be the weekday daytime schedule for at least two weeks, the road agency predicted. Teams with specialized equipment will be on site to remove the remaining slip material above the pavement.

The freeway will be fully open without traffic control from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and on weekends from 5 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday.

“These one-hour weekday traffic delays are necessary for crews and equipment to dedicate maximum daylight hours to these efforts ahead of future weather events,” Caltrans said.

Travelers in the area will be alerted to delays by message boards and directional signs.

Highway 1 (1) .jpg
Workers dislodged debris and rocks, followed by blasting of the rock mass on Highway 1 about two miles south of Ragged Point. The causeway was closed on December 26, but reopens at 5 p.m. with traffic control on Friday, December 31, 2021. Caltrans

The landslide discovered late on December 22 covered both lanes of the highway and undermined the support of a large rock mass above the highway. After Caltrans closed the road at a point south of Ragged Point but just north of the main viewing area of ​​the Piedras Blancas elephant seal colony, the agency signed Souza Construction de San Luis Obispo to complete the $ 1.25 million emergency project to clear the slide, remove unsupported rock above the pavement and perform other related repairs.

The road to Ragged Point, Piedras Blancas and beyond was completely closed until it reopened with limitations at 5 p.m. on New Years Eve.

In the initial repair efforts, Caltrans maintenance personnel and contracted crews rappelled down the hill during a highly skilled maneuver called rock scaling designed to dislodge debris and rocks. . This was followed by crews blasting the rock mass, removing most of it, according to Caltrans spokesman Kevin Drabinski.

For traffic updates on other freeways in the State of San Luis Obispo County, travelers can contact Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit the District 5 website. at the address : dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-5.

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Kathe Tanner has written about the people and places of SLO County’s North Coast since 1981, first as a columnist and then also as a journalist. Her career has included stints as a bakery owner, public relations manager, radio host, trail guide, and jewelry designer. She has lived in Cambria for over four decades, and if it happens in town, Kathe knows it.

Maria D. Ervin