If you have ever traversed the distance between Carmel and Cambria, you might have seen the telltale signs of where heavy rains have washed significant segments of Highway 1 right into the Pacific Ocean. In the past, California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans) reconstructed Highway 1 or made part of it unidirectional, but these efforts were never permanent fixes. Heavy rainfall still caused the same pieces of Highway 1 to vanish into the ocean on an annual basis. After years of semi-permanent fixes, Caltrans has found what it thinks to be a permanent solution to at least one of its Highway 1 roadway slip out woes, the Rocky Creek Viaduct.
Construction began on the Viaduct in early September; however, the majority of its construction will take place in the coming months. What this means for travelers of the scenic Highway 1 is road closures and traffic delays. Caltrans issued a news release on October 9, 2012 stating that there will be a full closure of Highway 1 from 9pm to 7am, Sunday through Thursday, starting on Sunday, October 14, 2012. This will continue until the end of February 2013. In addition to this, roadwork will continue twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with one-way signalized traffic control. Traffic will be stopped for 10 minutes at a time. The completion date for the viaduct is set for Labor Day 2013 weather permitting.
If you are traveling to Carmel from Big Sur or vice versa during Monday through Sunday, then you need to pass the construction area before 9pm. If not, you will have to back track and make your way over to Highway 101 to arrive at your intended destination, making for a very circuitous journey! Thus, make sure you leave Andrew Molera State Park or Point Lobos with enough time to go through the construction zone!
Caltrans has devoted a webpage entirely to the Rocky Creek Viaduct in order to keep motorists au courant with its progress. Additionally, Caltrans updates Highway 1 road closures and any other road closures on its main website. If you prefer to hear road updates via telephone, then you can contact the Highway 1 Cambria to Carmel Toll-Free Hotline at 888-836-0866. Before traveling on Highway, I suggest using one of these tools. If looking for lodging accommodations when traveling Highway One consider the Carmel Mission Inn located at Rio Rd and Highway One, Carmel CA.
As always, I cannot stress enough to take your time when you are driving this beautiful highway. We want you to arrive at your destination safe and sound! I know how frustrating the traffic might be, but at least you are not stuck on the 405 in Los Angeles in rush hour traffic. Small blessings, my friends!
We will update the blog as more Highway 1 road closure information becomes available.
Next up, the bridges of Monterey County!
Yours in Travel,
Carmel Mission Inn