Pacific Coast Highway slides into the Pacific

Poppy

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Here is a drone's view of a section of California's Pacific Coast Highway, after it slid into the ocean.



I think it was 1974 my Dad took us on a cross country road trip pulling a camping trailer.
We had a month, and three drivers, a total of 7 people. We tried to drive at night as much as possible so that we would have more sight-seeing time during the day. We did manage to see quite a few sights.

We drove the Pacific Coast Highway (a two lane, two way road) along cliffs, and precipices, for I don't know how many miles, with sensational views of the Pacific ocean.

We traveled that road in a Southward direction, which means that we were on the Ocean Side of the road, hugging the cliffs. Thankfully, my Dad was the driver during that stretch of the trip! As we were heading South, another car heading North sideswiped us! Again... Thank God my Dad decided to take the crash, rather than turn to avoid it and go over the cliffs!

I don't know what would have happened if it was me or my sister driving.

During the Summer of 1999, I took my family on a cross country trip in a Class A motorhome. I did 98% of the driving. We drove North on the Pacific Coast Highway. This way we hugged the mountains, NOT the CLIFFS!

We stopped for lunch at the restaurant that over-looks the Big Sur.

The above linked drone video is of the Pacific Coast Highway about 15 miles South of the Big Sur.
 

SCEMan

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A truly beautiful stretch of road that I've driven numerous times in sports cars. Unfortunately these landslides happen fairly often stranding thousands of people who now have to drive up to a hundred miles on back roads to travel north or south. I have a couple friends in this situation - fortunately both retired.
 

SCEMan

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Wonder what their method of repair will be? Build a bridge over the newly formed gorge?

They'll have plenty of time to figure it out - I don't see anything finished for 2-3 years or more. Most recently it was closed for 14 months due to a simple mudslide in 2017. Nothing of this magnitude.
Well at least they can hop on the Bullet Train in the meantime...

What a nightmare for those living in the area.
 

PhotonWrangler

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I;ve never been on the PCH but I've seen amazing footage of it. I've always thought that building a road that close to the edge was tempting fate. I hope the rebuilt road will include additional reinforcement from the west edge.
 

Kestrel

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From the reporting, I'm a little impressed with their operations (CalTrans?); it sounds like personnel knew the roadway was becoming marginal & blocked off the roads beforehand.
They had a public safety official monitoring the road condition there, and he saw the initial (partial) failure and then subsequently the main failure.

Guess that means a new bridge for Hwy.1
 

bykfixer

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There were monuments built in way back when the road was in the 1920's. As technology allows those monuments to be upgraded, they are. Early ideas were simple things like steel bars planted in ways that movement could be monitored. The slides are considered normal maintenance.

In 1921 it was all federal money but later state funds were added. It was conceived by a doctor so he could get to patients quicker. Much of the work was done by prisoners.
 

bykfixer

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It was designed to last 80 years when horse and buggy was still the normal way to commute so yeah, large failures is an unfortunate reality as a maintenance issue anymore. Aint like they can just build a road beside it and revamp what's there. It is what it is.

It's like highway 12 at the outer banks of North Carolina. Hurricane washes out a chunk, put it back and hope mother nature takes pity on the people there. It is what it is as long as pale face continues to build teepees where redman wouldn't even hunt.
 
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SCEMan

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California's systematic failure to properly maintain its highways, freeways and roads despite the highest gas taxes in the nation is inexcusable. As a native who began driving in the '60s when the freeways were still pristine, I've watched the state government siphon off roadway maintenance tax revenue for their pet projects time and again. There's absolutely no reason the self-proclaimed 5th largest economy in the world can't provide pothole-free, undamaged roadways if it cared about citizen safety. Instead it throws billions at the defunct Bullet Train to nowhere along with the light rail transit system that was losing ridership long before COVID came along. I know, I rode the Metrolink to work for 10 years, but could only afford it because my employer subsidized my expenses. I've traveled to many states and with few exceptions have encountered any roadways as poorly maintained.
 
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ledbetter

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Re: california... tumbles into the sea

...that'll be the day I go back to Annandale.
Great song but not really scientifically prescient unless you look at rising seas and long term erosion. These incidents have been happening my entire life in the golden state and have been exacerbated by invasive species(no, not people!) of plants with shallow roots.The native grasses have very long tap roots which are great at holding the sandy soil in place on the fragile coastline.
 

Sos24

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Gorgeous stretch of road. I remember traveling on that stretch about 20 years ago.

Until politicians start investing in decaying infrastructure, I fear more incidents like this will happen.
 

aginthelaw

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Can they prevent it? I've been watching cliff faces break off all day...england, scotland, the glacier breaking off in India. If the sea wants her land back, she's getting it
 

jtr1962

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Until politicians start investing in decaying infrastructure, I fear more incidents like this will happen.
I don't think that's the problem here. There are some places which are more prone to nature taking them back than others. That's the case here. Also, that's the case in areas prone to wild fires, coastal flooding, and so forth. Maybe we should just take a clue and let nature have these areas back. There are still plenty of places people can live which don't regularly have these disasters.
 

SCEMan

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I don't think that's the problem here. There are some places which are more prone to nature taking them back than others. That's the case here. Also, that's the case in areas prone to wild fires, coastal flooding, and so forth. Maybe we should just take a clue and let nature have these areas back. There are still plenty of places people can live which don't regularly have these disasters.

Little late for California. We're already gearing up for yet another likely devastating wind-driven wildfire season and power outages. And let's not mention the long-overdue southern San Andreas fault rupture.
 
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