A massive landslide in California’s Big Sur has closed a portion of scenic Highway 1, further isolating that region from the rest of the state and dealing a massive blow to tourism in the area.
— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) May 22, 2017
The Los Angeles Times reports: “With a loud boom and a cloud of dust, part of a mountainside slid into the Pacific Ocean on Saturday night, swallowing roughly a third of a mile of Highway 1 and rearranging some more of Big Sur’s dramatic coastline.”
The landslide came after a series of smaller problems that affected the area after one of the rainiest winters in the history of the state.
In March, a collapsed bridge in Big Sur cut many residents off from access to essential supplies and services, with access only available on foot or by helicopter.
The dramatic California coastline is subject to frequent erosion, as its cliffs and mountains are generally made of loose layers of sedimentary rock.
The Associated Press reports that the landslide “adds to a record $1 billion in highway damage from one of the state’s wettest winters in decades.”
There is no indication yet of how long it will take to repair Highway 1, whose scenic views are a major tourist draw to the area. Repairs must wait until the mountainside is stable again, and could take more than a year, given the engineering challenges of re-paving the road, and the logistical difficulties of construction in an isolated area.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.