April 13, 2024


California Highway 1 road collapse

Photo: Caltrans District 5

California’s Highway 1 is a gorgeous road that offers drivers views of the Pacific Ocean that make for an incredible road trip experience. At the same time, as the Washington Post wrote back in 2021, “the engineering folly of a road built on sheer cliffs has meant that closures are annual events — the “whens,” not “ifs” — for the people and the economy it supports.” That has once again proven accurate, as the Post reports that a landslide has once again closed a large portion of Highway 1.

Following a large weekend storm, large chunks of the road broke off, tumbling down a cliff and into the ocean Saturday afternoon near Rock Creek Bridge. Safety officials closed off about 40 miles of road as crews worked to assess the damage and stabilize the road. The California Department of Transportation has asked residents to “avoid all unnecessary travel,” with Nicholas Pasculli, Monterey County’s head of communications, saying, “We want to emphasize that this is a state disaster.”

About 2,000 people were reportedly stranded by the landslide and crumbling road, including a large number of tourists, the New York Times reports. Many reportedly had to spend the night in hotels, temporary accommodations and even their cars. On Sunday, once engineers determined it was safe to drive on the northbound lane, emergency convoys were able to escort everyone who wanted to leave to safety. According to California Highway Patrol, it isn’t aware of anyone who wanted to leave but couldn’t.

Sections of the road near Big Sur were already closed for repairs after they were damaged by landslides back in 2023. The original plan was for Highway 1 to reopen later this spring. The latest landslide, however, throws a wrench into that plan and will likely delay its reopening. The good news is, as far as we know, no one was injured in the landslide.

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik.



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