Culture

Big Sur businesses, workers impacted by Highway 1 closure due to weekend slip-out


A break in the southbound lane of Highway 1 at...

BIG SUR – A slip-out of Highway 1 near Rocky Creek Bridge, which prompted a closure of the roadway from Palo Colorado Road to south of Rocky Creek Bridge in Monterey County, has hobbled business in Big Sur for the foreseeable future, but there are signs it may not be as severe as prior closures.

“The key difference with this one is that convoys are providing somewhat reliable access of supplies and employees,” said Big Sur Chamber of Commerce President and General Manager of Nepenthe Kirk Gafill. “But it doesn’t address the economic impact to businesses.”

The slip-out occurred Saturday, causing the highway to be closed and stranding an estimated 1,600 residents and visitors. Since Sunday, Caltrans has been opening Highway 1 twice a day to convoys, but those convoys have been canceled Thursday and Friday because of the rain forecast. They are expected to resume Saturday.

Gafill said that nearly 100% of business volume is generated by visitors to the area. Right now all the state parks in the area are closed and authorities are discouraging visiting the Big Sur Coast.

Businesses in Big Sur will take a blow from the constricted flow of traffic and tourist dollars in the coming days, if not weeks.

Gafill said that will not change or improve until the resumption of public access with at least traffic flowing using the northbound lane, which is where the convoys having been moving. He said a good sign is that there are no weight limits.

A break in the southbound lane of Highway 1 at Rocky Creek Bridge in Big Sur, Calif., Monday, April 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

The deck of Café Kevah overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains and on a usual sun-drenched weekday is usually bustling with patrons enjoying a meal while drinking in the views. With the slip-out of the roadway near Rocky Creek Bridge, Highway 1 is closed, halting visitor traffic and impacting businesses in Big Sur. (Kirk Gafill/Nepenthe)

Alejandro Garcia, right, a traffic control technician with Stateside, talks to a tourist at a road closure on Highway 1 near Big Sur, Calif., Monday, April 1, 2024, following an Easter weekend storm. (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

This photo provided by Caltrans shows a damaged section of Highway 1, Sunday, March 31, 2024, south of Rocky Creek Bridge in Big Sur, Calif. Authorities urged motorists to avoid the scenic highway after a section of the coastal route collapsed during an Easter weekend storm, forcing closures and stranding motorists near Big Sur, authorities said. (Caltrans District 5 via AP)

Alejandro Garcia, a traffic control technician with Stateside, talks to drivers at a road closure on Highway 1 near Big Sur, Calif., Monday, April 1, 2024, following an Easter weekend storm. (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

Cones mark a break in the southbound lane of Highway 1 at Rocky Creek Bridge in Big Sur, Calif., Monday, April 1, 2024, following an Easter weekend storm. (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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