Hwy 1 Closed at Piedras Blancas

Written by Estero Bay News

January 27, 2023

If you were thinking of driving up to Monterey on Hwy 1 through Big Sur, plan on changing your travel plans for the foreseeable future.

Caltrans announced that the Hwy 1 closure in San Luis Obispo County will continue to be at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery about 4-miles north of San Simeon, and even access to Ragged Point at this time is limited.

“A significant slide,” Caltrans spokesman Kevin Drabinski said in a news update, “one mile south of Ragged Point, at a location known as Polar Star, extends over both lanes of travel. The highway is impassible at this location and is expected to restrict access to Ragged Point from the south for several weeks to months.”

He had a warning to anyone who might think about getting past the slide area on foot. “It is not permissible or safe to go across the slide area at Polar Star on foot,” he said. “The public is asked to refrain from approaching the area surrounding this slide.”

With this past week or so of drier weather, Caltrans is assessing the Hwy 1 road conditions daily and will change or move closures as they warrant. Meanwhile, Hwy 1 is a mess again this winter and folks in Big Sur are once again cut off from the north and south.

The northern limit (from Carmel heading south) of the closure was slated to be moved to Lime Creek on Tuesday, Jan. 17, barring any more slides. It had been set at Deetjen’s Inn, which is just under 4-miles from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Caltrans was organizing convoys bringing supplies to Big Sur but those are conditioned on the weather, road conditions and Caltrans’ ability to clear a path through the slide areas.

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

The slide at Polar Star was slated to start being cleared with heavy equipment on Jan. 17 and would continue as weather permits.

To be safe, anyone who needs to head to Monterey or Carmel should probably just take Hwy 101 North.

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

To check on current road conditions, see the CHP Traffic Incident Information Page at: http://cad.chp.ca.gov. Get traveler information at: https://quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

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