By Josh Friedman
The stretch of Highway 1 in Monterey County that was washed away by a storm in January will reopen this week, ahead of schedule.
Highway 1 at Rat Creek will completely reopen at 12 p.m. Friday, Caltrans announced. However, construction work will continue in the area, resulting periodically in minor delays for drivers.
On Jan. 28, a debris flow that followed the Dolan Fire washed out 150 feet of the roadway. The stretch of Highway 1 has remained fully closed since.
After the January washout, workers removed 70,000 civic yards of debris material from the canyon. Workers later filled the canyon with 45,000 cubic yards of dirt to support the roadway above.
Final roadway paving advanced at a pace that will allow for the stretch of Highway 1 to reopen one week earlier than previously planned.
Even so, drivers may face intermittent delays of up to 10 minutes due to construction work that includes installing a permanent guardrail, building headwalls at culvert inlets, final grading features and erosion control measures on both sides of the roadway.
Additionally, crews will install a 10-foot diameter, one-inch thick steel pipe culvert that will pass from the canyon through the fill below the roadway and out to the ocean. The culvert is expected to improve water flow capacity during future storms. Crews have already installed a five-foot diameter culvert and two 24-inch culverts closer to the grade of the highway.
Caltrans describes the Highway 1 reopening as “welcome news indeed for residents, recreationalists, business owners and those who move goods through this region.”