Associate Editor

The Inertia

An especially wet winter was largely welcomed across California this season for the relief it brought to a region suffering from severe drought. But for residents of Big Sur along the state’s central coast, an increased number of landslides and road closures have proven particularly problematic. The latest of which, a slide that covered a 1/3 mile stretch of Highway 1, is being called unprecedented.

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

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office posted a video on Facebook of the devastation with the following explanation:
“We’ve received a lot of questions regarding the slide & where it is located. We hope the following information is helpful in giving everyone idea of where it is at. Mud Creek is on Highway 1, 8 miles north of the Monterey/San Luis Obispo county line, about 10 miles north of Ragged Point or 25 miles north of San Simeon (Hearst Castle). It is located at PM 8 on Highway 1.


“MCSO airplane Idaho 90 up in the air to put eyes on the recent landslide at Mud Creek in Big Sur. The slide went from bad to worse over the weekend and the video will give you a glimpse at the undertaking needed to open the road again. There are several trucks parked on the highway south of the slide for reference.”

According to the LA Times, the latest slide occurred after a series of four slides had closed the area. Caltrans crews working to clear the area of debris were forced to vacate the area after engineers noticed the hillside continuing to move.

Caltrans District 5 spokesman Jim Shivers said that according to mid-April estimates, winter storms have caused upwards of $1.3 billion in damage to state and local roads and highways.



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