BIG SUR, California. – A new large rockslide buried a piece of California’s famous Highway 1 at up to 40 metres of rocks and dirt, the latest hit in a wet winter slides, flooding and road closures along the winding Central California coast road, state transportation officials said Monday.
A strip of the hill, place in an area called Mud Creek on Saturday night, that about one-third of a mile of the road and the change of the Big Sur coast directly below, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation said.
“It’s a huge water slide. We have never seen anything like it,” said Colin Jones, the transport agency spokesperson of the area.
Another important slide this weekend on #Hwy1 #BigSur on Mud Creek (9 HOURS). The road remains closed, but in part coastal access via Natur-Fergusson Rd. pic.twitter.com/rlDxP4oNxL
— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) 22 May 2017
The state had already closed that part of Highway 1 to repair buckled pavement and other, earlier damage of one of California’s rainy winters of the last decades. The authorities removed work crews of the area last week after realizing that saturated the soil in that area was increasingly unstable, Jones said. “It is now up to 10 times as much,” he said.
State road officials plan to wait for the direct slide danger to pass before we go back to start figuring out how to strengthen the hill and the reconstruction and the reopening of that part of the road, ” he said.
Narrow, windy Highway 1 through Big Sur is a major tourist attraction, attracting visitors to the serene forests of redwoods, the beaches and the motorway the dramatic oceanside landscape.
New photo. No estimate when SR1, ca. 9 km no. of the SLO/Monterey Co line to re-open. Photo:John Maderra @MalcolmXdough @CaltransD5 pic.twitter.com/hOIwDTBXCM
— Tamie McGowen (@Tamie_McGowen) 23 May 2017
The rough winter has closed at least two other pieces of road in the region, causing some resorts to close, and some others, the use of helicopters to ferry in the supplies and the guests.
Although the rainy season is usually stopped and the sun comes out again, “it does not mean that the ground will not now change on the basis of what happened in the winter,” Jones said.