Posted by: Stan Russell | November 7, 2018

Caltrans Announces Plans to Temporarily Close Highway 1 at Mud Creek/Paul’s Slide When Major Storms Are Foreca sted by NOAA

Date: Wednesday, November 7, 2018

District: District 5 (Central Coast)

Contact: susana.cruz (bilingual) or jim.shivers

Phone: (805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3237


Caltrans Announces Plans to Temporarily Close Highway 1

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.

–Photos below—

Photos of Mud Creek Slide (top) June 1, 2017 and (above) June 3, 2018, courtesy of John Madonna.

Photos of recent repairs to the Hermitage Retaining Wall at Paul’s Slide (Steel angle to retain lagging in the corners on the right photo).

The next update will be when the first 48-hour traffic advisory is issued.

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