Repairs to an iconic section of Highway 1 on California’s Big Sur Coast that washed out in a severe January storm could be complete by this summer if weather permits. The California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans) awarded an emergency $11.5-million contract to get work started as soon as March 1. The force account project status awarded Jan. 28 in a no-bid move to Arroyo Grande, Calif.-based Papich Construction Co. will charge for actual costs for time and materials plus “specified markups,” says Jim Shivers, spokesperson for Caltrans District 5.

The storm washed out a 150-ft section of the highway after debris from the previous year’s fires flowed down Rat Creek.

Papich Construction will use an enhanced fill option and then rebuild the roadway on top. Crews will also replace the main drainage system with an oversized main culvert, a secondary culvert and smaller overflow culverts closer to the highway grade. This will increase the capacity of the drainage system, add redundancies designed to withstand future debris flows and enhance the resiliency and sustainability of the highway against rising sea level and coastal erosion, preventing future damage from similar debris flows, said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin in a release.