Coastlands II Retaining Wall

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Project Description

Caltrans proposes to replace the failed Coastlands II Retaining Wall and add barrier systems for traveler safety on State Route 1. Other work would include removing the existing soil nail wall, rebuilding the drainage inlet and culvert near the southern terminus of the existing wall, restoring the roadway, and removing vegetation and trees within the area where the wall and railing would be constructed. Project activities would occur on State Route 1 at post mile 44.34 in Monterey County, roughly 1.1 miles south of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge near Big Sur.

project location map        project vicinity map

Project Benefits


The purpose of this project is to stabilize a failing slope that is threatening the highway facility and improve safety for motorists and cyclists traveling along State Route 1 in Big Sur. Excess water from large rain events can degrade the steep embankment slopes that are characteristic of the Big Sur region. Slope failure due to oversaturation can lead to instability of the roadway surface, which would undermine the functional use of the southbound travel lane. The project would minimize the potential for future rain events to compromise the stability of State Route 1 through the project limits. The installation of continuous barrier railing throughout the project limits next to the southbound shoulder would improve safety for travelers by reducing the risk of running off the road due to collision, road alignment, or operating conditions.


The project is needed to address the failure of the existing retaining wall. As a result of the January 27, 2021, storm that passed over the Big Sur Coast, the soil behind the mechanically stabilized embankment wall on State Route 1 at post mile 44.34 became oversaturated and caused the retaining wall to fail. The slope has continued to degrade after the failure of the mechanically stabilized embankment wall, which threatens the paved highway and the private waterline located just below the wall. There is no permanent barrier railing installed along the seaward side of the highway through the project limits, and district traffic safety recommends closing the gap between the installations of barrier railing at the Coastlands and Coastlands II retaining walls.

Estimated Funding Breakdown

Funding Source Funding Amount
State $367,040.00
Federal $2,832,960.00
Construction Cost $3,200,000.00

Proposed Project Schedule

Process Date
Final environmental document to be completed October 2023
Right-of-way acquisition to be completed November 2024
Design to be completed January 2025
Advertise October 2025
Construction to begin January 2026
Construction to be completed October 2026

Dianna Beck, Senior Environmental Planner
Phone: (805) 459-9406

Carla Yu, Project Manager
Phone: (805) 835-6349

Public Information Office, Caltrans District 5
Phone: (805) 549-3138


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Title VI Information

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) assures that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and Federal Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations).

Caltrans will make every effort to ensure nondiscrimination in all of its programs and activities, whether they are federally funded or not, and that services and benefits are fairly distributed to all people, regardless of race, color, or national origin. In addition, Caltrans will facilitate meaningful participation in the transportation planning process in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Title VI Brochures

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