Jul 19, 2018

Pacific Coast Highway Reopens Following Landslide

The iconic West Coast highway has reopened thanks to some creative engineering and erosion controls

Iconic highway reopens thanks to erosion control devices
Iconic highway reopens thanks to erosion control devices

The Pacific Coast Highway that runs through Big Sur, Calif., reopened, following a May 2017 landslide that dumped more than 1 million tons of debris and buried a quarter-mile section of the scenic roadway. Geologists, engineers and construction workers cleared debris and installed erosion control devices with the aim of preventing future landslides on Highway 1.

According to CNN, the landslide left a 35- to 40-ft deep layer of dirt on 1,500 ft of the roadway. In repairing the roadway, workers decided to build the new roadway over the existing landslide, instead of removing the sediment buildup. Additionally, the team implemented erosion control devices to prevent ocean erosion.

A catch-basin above the road was cleared and lined with retaining walls to catch future debris and a breakwater was built along the base of the slide to manage waves and erosion, as reported by the Herald Courier.

“This has been a monumental project,” said Contractor John Madonna. “I would put working on the Mud Creek slide in the same category as the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge.”