Repairs continue at Paul’s Slide on Big Sur Coast with updated repair design

MONTEREY – Paul’s Slide, the section of Highway 1 that is closed to through traffic, continues to live up to its name as the hillside moves, but repair work continues.

For two miles between the town of Lucia to the north and Limekiln State Park to the south, Highway 1 is closed to vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic.

Repair efforts were halted at the site on Highway 1, postmile marker 21.7, in early August to allow Geotech crews time to study measurements of recent slide activity and, in collaboration with Caltrans engineering teams, design repairs based on the slide conditions.

Following a brief pause in repair work for assessment and design, crews continue to work seven days a week during all daylight hours, but Caltrans reports that there have been two overriding safety priorities while working to fully reopen the highway.

The first has been the safety of the crews performing these repairs while working at a steep site where slide activity is still occurring – and will continue to occur. The second goal has been to design a repair that will provide a safe roadway for motorists.

With these safety concerns in mind, engineering teams created a repair plan that will bring the roadway slightly inland as it passes in front of the Paul’s Slide complex, according to Caltrans. This design also allows for a larger catchment area between concrete barriers and fencing installed along the northbound lane and the slide’s toe. This will improve safety for both the general public and construction and maintenance crews.

Highway 1 on the Big Sur coast remains open in both directions, from Monterey to Lucia in the north and Cambria to Limekiln in the south.

Slides are common after major storms hit the Central Coast, and this year’s storms caused landslides along the Big Sur coast, affecting portions of Highway 1 in Monterey County.

One of the more severely damaged areas was at Paul’s Slide, about 44 miles south of Monterey, where hillside movement continues and Caltrans repair work is ongoing, necessitating the road’s continued closure.

Caltrans reported earlier this year that at the start of the Paul’s Slide repair effort, it was estimated that 500,000 cubic yards of material would have to be moved from the slide area, which spanned about a half mile between Lucia and Limekiln.

There is no current estimated time for a full reopening of Highway 1 at Paul’s Slide due to the uncertainty surrounding continued slide activity at the repair site as well as weather conditions in the coming months.

According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the southern closure is located one half mile south of Paul’s Slide. The turnaround area has no parking. Limekiln State Park remains closed, and entry is strictly prohibited. According to Monterey County Code 14.18.020(a), it is also illegal to camp in turnouts or anywhere along Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast unless in a designated campsite in a public campground.

Road information and updates are also available on the Caltrans District 5 social media platforms, including Twitter at @CaltransD5, Facebook at Caltrans Central Coast (District 5), and Instagram at Caltrans_D5.

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