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California's landslide-hit Big Sur Highway 1 reopens

Big Sur reopened

Californian officials have reported that part of Highway 1 closed by a landslide last year has reopened - two months earlier than expected. 

Work to rebuild and reopen the US’s well-known Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, at Mud Creek on the Big Sur coastline has been completed after a landslide in May 2017.

The massive landslide dumped more than 4.6M.m³ of material onto the roadway and into the ocean, creating 6ha of additional coastline, and making it the largest slide ever along the Big Sur coast.

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) officials announced in August 2017 that a new 0.4km road will traverse the site of the Mud Creek slide.


big sur landslide

The US$54M (£41.5M) new road has been realigned across the landslide and is buttressed with a series of embankments, berms, rocks, netting, culverts and other stabilising material according to department engineers and geologists.

This strategy, according to Caltrans, helped to rebuild the roadway more quickly and at a lower cost than other alternatives such as structures, a tunnel or major earthwork that would have put additional fill into the ocean.

In May, Caltrans reported that the project was delayed and the road would not be fully reopened until the Autumn. 

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