Highway 1 to reopen by May 25; construction continues around the clock

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California Construction News staff writer

Highway 1, severely damaged by recent storms, is on track to reopen to unrestricted signal-controlled traffic by May 25, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced.

Construction crews have been working around the clock to stabilize the roadway since the March 30 slip-out and Newsom has signed a state of emergency proclamation to secure an estimated $100 million in federal funding for repairs, including for the badly damaged Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles.

“Storms in March caused significant damage to critical parts of our transportation infrastructure – impacting not only traffic for our communities, but also hurting small businesses and workers,” he said, after touring work being done at Rocky Creek Bridge, the site of the Highway 1 slip-out near Big Sur.

Multiple communities experienced serious damage to roadways including Topanga Canyon Boulevard on State Route 27, where in early March, the hillside slid onto the highway, bringing down dirt and rocks, including a car-sized boulder. This debris continues to shift as it blocks both lanes of traffic and the route remains closed between Pacific Coast Highway and the town of Topanga. As a result of this closure, the community of Topanga has faced hours-long detours and a loss of revenue to local businesses.

In Monterey County, a portion of the southbound lane of Highway 1 near the community of Big Sur fell into the ocean, resulting in limited usage of the remaining roadway. Currently, twice-daily convoys are in use through the slip-out area with some limitations on members of the traveling public.

Once the roadway edge is stabilized, the Governor today announced that crews will install a temporary signal and open Highway 1 to unrestricted traffic under alternating one-way traffic control. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is striving to complete this work by May 25.

The proclamation allowed Caltrans to request funding through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program for Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, San Bernardino, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity, and Ventura. Repairs completed within the first 180 days of an emergency event are eligible for 100 percent federal funding.

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