Road to Nowhere
Highway 1 through Big Sur slide area now closed to all – foot power included.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The California Department of Transportation closed a severely damaged section of Highway 1 near Rocky Point to pedestrians and cyclists Monday, despite Big Sur residents’ requests to allow for grocery and pharmaceutical relays.
Big Sur resident Jack Ellwanger of PelicanNetwork.net says the number of bottle neckers showing up just to get a look at the highway damaged by the slide on March 16 is getting out of hand. “There are too many non-residents tramping around, and that’s not a good situation,” he says.
Big Sur residents are in the process of getting a shuttle and relay system going with the help of Caltrans, but the weather isn’t helping their cause. The only other options for residents living to the south of the slide-out to access the Peninsula are Nacimiento-Fergusson Road – prone to closure itself – and the five-hour route through Cambria to 101.
“Business sucks,” Redwood Grill’s Executive Chef Tommy Noel says. “We were just gearing up for spring break and it just died.”
Aside from lack of customers, Noel’s “bummed out at the five-hour drive” he’s now making to get his kids to school in Carmel. Luckily, though, a host family has taken them in until other arrangements can be made.
Oakland based contractor Condon-Johnson & Associates has the $2.5 million emergency repair project and is aiming for a temporary repair by April 16. The Big Sur marathon, scheduled for May 1, will go on as planned but with an altered route in case repairs aren’t finished.