Highway 1 at Rat Creek now fully open to traffic
–Highway 1 at Rat Creek in Monterey County re-opened Friday, April 23 at noon. A full closure has been in place following the Jan. 28 postfire debris flow that washed out 150 feet of the roadway.
Additional construction activities which will be accomplished over the next few months include installation of permanent guardrail (K-rail now in place), construction of headwalls at the culvert inlets, final grading features, and placement of erosion control measures on both sides of the roadway.
One component yet to be started is a tunneling operation to install a 10 ft. diameter, one-inch thick steel pipe culvert which will pass from the canyon, through the fill below the roadway, and outlet to the ocean. This key piece of infrastructure will substantially improve water flow capacity during future storm events. It will be augmented by a 5 ft. diameter culvert and two 24 in. culverts which have already been installed closer to the grade of the highway. The redundancy of the drainage infrastructure is designed to make the highway more resilient to extreme weather conditions which will allow for safe travel.
Crews have worked on-site since immediately after the Jan. 28 washout, seven days a week during daylight hours, and their consistent efforts have made it possible to reopen Highway 1 at Rat Creek in only 86 days. In addition, favorable weather, which has dominated the area since the road washed out, has also been a contributing factor in the rapid completion of the construction activities to this point.
Approximately 70,000 cubic yards of debris material was removed from the canyon while a repair design strategy was being evaluated. Once an enhanced fill strategy was identified in late February, 45,000 cubic yards of fill dirt, capable of being compacted to support the roadway above, was introduced into the canyon.
As crews complete the remaining construction work over the next few months, intermittent traffic control at this location may cause delays for motorists of up to 10 minutes. Message and directional signs will be in place to alert motorists when one-way reversing traffic control is required.