A quarter-mile section of California’s scenic Pacific Coast Highway in the Big Sur region is now buried under more than one million tons of dirt and rock—a section about a mile southeast of Gorda and about 60 miles south of Monterey. Even before Saturday’s landslide, the road hadn’t been fully passable for months, reports CNN.
“Whether that roadway is even there (anymore) will be interesting to see, once it’s uncovered,” Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers told CNN.
“The highway is the main artery running through Big Sur,” notes CNN, a scenic stretch along the coast that is a major tourist attraction year round.
Heavy rains since the beginning of the year have caused several previous closures, including one landslide that forced the demolition of the highway’s Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, 30 miles northwest of Mud Creek. Residents and businesses that have been coping with road closures for months, according to Stan Russell, a resident and executive of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, using instead a hiking trail alongside the closed bridge and picking up supplies during permitted hours.