Elephant’s Trunk Construction, South Coast Big Sur
Yesterday, Cal -Trans held a community meeting at the Willow Springs Maintenace Yard regarding the 18-month long project at “Elephant’s Trunk” and “Cow Cliffs.” (I am going to work on getting Don Harlan’s paper on the various place-names for highway spots down here all on one page so that it will be easy to refer to.) It was well attended by both Cal Trans and the Community members. To accommodate businesses and locals, the times for the overnight closures have been changed to 10 pm-7am, Sunday nights through Friday mornings for a four month period which will begin on the first. The project will proceed well past that time, but like the Rocky Creek Viaduct, over night closures are necessary due to the narrowness of the road and the need to install the pilings.
Ever since the signals went in, even before they were operational, Rock Knocker expressed some misgivings about how well they would work, given the distance between them. Yesterday, just before 6 pm, we got a first hand demonstration of his concerns manifested. We were the 5th car in line when our signal turned green for us, the north-bound traffic, to proceed. We were all moving forward when a car came through toward us. We all stopped so he could wiggle through. We began to try to move forward, and again, another car came at us. Then another, and another, and another. All together, 12 cars proceeded south bound when the light was green for the north bound traffic to proceed. Either there was something wrong with the signals, or 12 different people decided to run the light. Given the length of this project, the length of the signaled area, and the curvy nature of the area, rendering oncoming traffic not visible until the last minute, it is only a matter a time before there will be an accident there, tying up traffic on Highway One for potentially a long time. I advise extreme caution when traveling through this area, north of Ragged Point. Even if your signal is green, proceed slowly and with caution.