The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently announced it will reopen Highway 1 at Rat Creek in Monterey County by April 30—nearly two months ahead of its target date.
A full closure has been in place following the January 28 mudslide that washed out 150 ft of the roadway.
Caltrans originally estimated a reopening in early summer when it began major emergency repairs March 1 and has been able to accelerate that timeline with favorable weather conditions. Crews can complete remaining construction work after the road reopens.
“Reopening Highway 1 at Rat Creek just three months after a washout of this magnitude is great news for residents, recreationalists, business owners, and those who move goods through this region," Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said in a statement. "Caltrans has been focused on the emergency work needed to increase the resiliency of this highway section to extreme weather, and the fixes made will allow for safe travel.”
After Caltrans identified the enhanced fill design repair strategy in late February, crews worked seven days a week during daylight hours to fill the canyon with compacted dirt to the road level. Caltrans will establish the base of a new road during the month of April, to be followed by paving and striping.
Caltrans will continue construction work that will require intermittent traffic control at Rat Creek following the reopening as crews will install a new, redundant drainage system. The 10-ft-diameter culvert will improve water flow during storms and make the roadway more resilient to extreme weather activity. Caltrans will also work on landscaping and installing permanent guardrails throughout the early summer.