Landslide buries part of California’s coastal highway in mud, rock

A landslide closed a portion of California's Highway 1 in the state's central coast on Saturday, adding to the $1.3 billion in damage the state's roads and highways have already sustained in recent months. Photo courtesy Caltrans District 5/Twitter

May 24 (UPI) — Part of central California’s scenic Highway 1 is now buried under about 40 feet of mud and rock after a landslide struck over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office released video Tuesday showing the scale of the slide that buried a portion of the state roadway.

“Mother Nature hard at work,” Caltrans District 5 tweeted on Monday, two days after the slide. “No words needed but here’s a few. Millions tons of rock/dirt, about 1/3 mile of roadway covered 35-40 feet deep.”

The slide is the latest setback following a winter of other landslides and flooding that has so far caused $1.3 billion in damage to the state’s roads and highways, Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers said.

Iconic Highway Buried in 40’ of Dirt, Rocks
Weather Channel
Autoplay: On | Off

“Unprecedented would be a good word to use,” he said. “Things are better now, but we were basically working seven days a week from early January through early April. Your cellphone was sounding off day and night seven days a week.”

The slide last weekend occurred in the central coast’s Big Sur area, near Mud Creek, capping a series of four smaller slides that had previously closed that area, Shivers said. Highway 1 in that area is known as the Cabrillo Highway. In Southern California, just north and south of Los Angeles, Highway 1 is famously called the Pacific Coast Highway.

There was no estimate on when the debris would be cleared.

Officials said workers trying to clear debris from prior slides had to abandon their heavy equipment when they noticed movement by the land above them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here