Colossal Mudslide Buries Iconic California Coast Road
Unprecedented slide is latest to hit beleaguered areaby Jonathan Lopez, on
California’s Highway 1, a gorgeous band of tarmac draped along the craggy western coastline, was buried in 40 feet of liquid earth in a colossal mudslide on Saturday. The slide occurred, ironically, at a place called Mud Creek, located between Monterey and Morro Bay. Luckily, no one was injured, as the nearby section of road was closed for repairs and workers had left the site due to the potential mudslide danger. About a third of a mile of the road was affected, and the sheer size of the slide has transformed the coastline, with a sizable portion of the hill now jutting out into the Pacific.
Colin Jones, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, spoke to the LA Times about the incident, saying “A massive slide. We’ve never seen anything like that.” Repairs will commence once the ground is more stable and the immediate danger has passed. The slide is the latest in a series of natural calamities to hit the area following a particularly wet winter, including numerous previous landslides, and the fall of a popular giant sequoia tree, with tourists and residents relying on helicopter deliveries to receive food and supplies. This latest slide pads an already record $1 billion slated to repair the highway.
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I used to live in Monterey, and whenever I needed a break from the daily grind, I’d head south along Highway 1 towards Big Sur. It was my escape, a place where I knew I could leave the worries and annoyances of “normal” life behind, finding salvation found through twisting curves and breathtaking scenery.
You’ve probably seen the Big Sur coast in innumerable car commercials, with standout features like Bixby Bridge providing incredible backdrops. The area is steeped in automotive culture, with the nearby Laguna Seca raceway and the annual Monterey Car Week festivities adding to the allure for the motor-minded.
However, following the huge amount of precipitation experienced this year, Highway 1 is in desperate need of repairs, and it’ll be months before travel in the area can resume.
Last year, numerous wild fires plagued the area, negatively impacting tourism. It remains to be seen what will happen in 2017, but odds are we’ll be seeing a further decline.
Source: LA Times