The beachside road was closed at 10:56 a.m. between Sloat Boulevard and Lincoln Way.
The sand was removed and the road reopened by 2 p.m., DPW spokeswoman Rachel Gordon said.
Earlier this morning, crews had shut down southbound Great Highway further south between Skyline and Sloat boulevards because of sand, but reopened that portion of the road around the time the other closure started, Gordon said.
A long-term project to repair and repave parts of Great Highway begins Wednesday, according to Gordon.
She said the nine-month project will start on the northern end of the road where it transitions into Point Lobos Avenue near the Cliff House.
One lane of Great Highway will remain open to traffic in each direction during construction, she said.