A collapse on Highway 1 near Big Sur closed the road

A 40-mile stretch of California's Highway 1 was closed Monday after a landslide During a big storm At the weekend, parts of the road fell down a cliff, leaving around 1,600 people stranded until they were evacuated in one incident.

The landslide occurred Saturday afternoon near the Rocky Creek Bridge, one of several historic spans that line the scenic highway and is a popular spot for admiring coastal views.

The slip-out caused parts of the highway's southbound lane to break off and plunge down a cliff into the sea, The Associated Press reported.

Engineers were working Sunday to assess the damage, and the highway was closed early Monday morning in both directions between Palo Colorado and Limekiln State Park and Lime Creek, about 14 miles south of Monterey. According to To the California Department of Transportation or Caltrans.

Caltrans said crews were working to stabilize the roadway, and it asked people to “avoid all unnecessary travel” in the area.

All Big Sur State Parks within the affected area, including Point Sur, Andrew Molera, Pfeiffer Big Sur, Julia Pfeiffer Burns and Limekiln, are closed to day visitors and campers “until further notice,” Monterey County said. said.

“We want to emphasize that this is a statewide disaster,” said Nicholas Pasculli, director of communications for Monterey County. said SFGate on Sunday.

About 1,600 people, including tourists and locals visiting Big Sur for the Easter weekend, were initially stranded. Local news reports Some people had that Spend the night Saturday in hotels, temporary shelters or even in their cars.

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But on Sunday, emergency vehicles evacuated most people after state engineers determined it was safe to travel on the highway's northbound lanes.

The Monterey-area California Highway Patrol said it is not aware of anyone wanting to leave stranded overnight. More vehicles were tentatively scheduled for Monday at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to allow anyone left behind to evacuate safely, a spokeswoman said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said On social media Sunday, his office said his office was “coordinating closely” with agencies to “address a derailment on Highway 1 near Big Short” and he thanked the “crews working around the clock to fix the road and keep Californians safe.”

Landslides could be problematic on Saturday attempts by state authorities Fully reopen Highway 1 in late spring after the area around Big Sur was closed for repairs Large landslides In the first part of 2023. In December, Caltrans said “months of work” will “still be needed to repair the site.” The company said it was not sure how the winter rains would “impact this timetable”. Since then it has been raining heavily Interrupted repair.

Highway 1, especially along the Big Sur coast Vulnerable to extreme weather events Because of its topography and location. Storms and wildfires – increasingly intensified by climate change – are regular occurrences and lead to erosion, landslides and mudslides that block, damage or destroy parts of the road. Frequent travelers and residents of the area are often aware of the dangers.

As The Washington Post wrote in 2021, “An engineering folly of a road built on sheer bedrock, closures are annual events — 'whens', not 'ifs' — for the people and economy it supports.”

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