Huge landslide along California’s iconic coastal Highway 1 buries the road under a 40-foot layer of rock and dirt

A massive new landslide along California’s iconic coastal Highway 1 has buried the road under a 40-foot layer of rock and dirt.

Millions tons of rock/dirt swallowed up about 1/3 mile of Highway 1, burying it 35-40 feet deep on Saturday night. Mother Nature hard at work.

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A massive new landslide along California’s iconic coastal Highway 1 has buried the road under a 40-foot layer of rock and dirt. via Youtube Video

Nature’s weekend show is just the latest challenge for Caltrans crews along the Central Coast, where the wettest winter in decades caused Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur to fail, closed parts of Highway 1 and led to the partial collapse of a section of heavily traveled Highway 17.

Aerial photos and video of the massive landslide show a huge tongue of earth reaching into the sea in the Mud Creek area of southern Big Sur.

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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. via Youtube Video

Crews working to clear the previous slides had to abandon their work last week after engineers noticed that the hillside looming above them continued to move.

And the unexpected happened: millions tons of rock/dirt swallowed up about 1/3 mile of Highway 1, burying it 35-40 feet deep.

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Aerial photos and video of the massive landslide show a huge tongue of earth reaching into the sea in the Mud Creek area of southern Big Sur. via Twitter

This winter’s storms have caused at least $1.3 billion in damage to state and local roads and highways, according to an estimate in mid-April. That total is likely to climb after last weekend’s collapse.

Caltrans couldn’t say how long it would take to rebuild the vanished section of the scenic road. But Handy said locals are guessing it will be at least a year, dashing hopes that the popular coastal highway would completely reopen this year.

People who live in the region are resilient. They have their own power. They grow their own food. So they’re like, ‘OK, we’re going to make it work.’

But this unusual sets of huge landslides must have definitely been challenging and disheartening.

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