BIG SUR, Calif. (KRON) – A massive section of the highway that runs along California’s coastline collapsed and washed into the ocean Friday when the cliffside below gave way amid torrential rains and wind brought on by a powerful storm.
California transportation crews responded to a segment of road that collapsed along the Big Sur coast and closed the highway indefinitely.
Dramatic photos show a huge piece of the road missing, with both the north and southbound lanes washed away.
The atmospheric river that slammed into California earlier in the week drenched the central coast with 14 inches of rain. The storm buffeted the state with wind gusts that topped 60 miles per hour in some areas and dumped seven feet of snow in the Sierra.
In an update Friday afternoon, Caltrans District 5 said crews were on site securing the area and assessing damage, as well as starting clean-up and repairs.
The Big Sur coastline, which offers a picturesque drive popular with tourists, is prone to mudslides.
The last time a significant portion of Highway 1 was damaged was back in 2017 when the steep slopes at Mud Creek suffered a catastrophic collapse, wiping out the highway for more than a year.
Photos provided by Caltrans.
Caltrans says it’s unclear when the road will be reopened.