California’s Coastal Highway reopened at Gorda | In May 2017 a quarter-mile section of California’s famous State Route 1 fell into the ocean due to the largest landslide ever recorded between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Yesterday Mercury News had this to say: After a 14-month closure, the section at Gorda did reopen. It ended the longest road closure in Big Sur history. California’s SR1 is not just an ordinary state route. It ranks #2 right after Route 66 in popularity among international tourists and tops the charts for being the most scenic drive in the U.S.
The cliff-hugging highway had been cut off at the town of Gorda — 65 miles south of Monterey. Business wise this re-opening was a much-needed injection in the arm. Until yesterday, travelers from the north were only able to drive to Big Sur, but couldn’t get farther south than Gorda. Motels and restaurants between Gorda and Hearst Castle were some of the hardest hit because 70 percent of tourists were usually coming from the SF Bay Area up north, instead of coming from L.A. down south.
In addition to providing a scenic route along California’s Pacific coast, SR1 also serves as a major thoroughfare in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the San Francisco Bay Area, and a few other coastal urban areas. SR1 at times runs concurrently with US101, most notably through an 87km stretch in Ventura/Santa Barbara, and across the Golden Gate Bridge. The first section in the Big Sur region opened in the 1930s. From the very first day of its existence landslides became part of the story.
1957: A segment between Pacifica and Daly City was damaged and rendered unusable after a 5.3 magnitude earthquake.
1969: The Big Rock Mesa landslide in Malibu turned out to be one of the worst in California’s state history. A total of 250 homes collapsed. The state paid 40 million USD as cutting through the hillside to build the Highway was a contributing cause.
1984: a large slide during the winter of 83/84 closed a section of SR1 for more than a year.
1995: At the Devil’s Slide area one mudslide caused SR1 to be closed for five months.
2006: Same location. Another mudslide. Four-month closure.
2007: It took four years to finish a major reconstruction between Muir Beach and Stinson Beach in order to repair damage from a landslide that happened in 2007.
2011: Another landslide, another road closure in the Big Sur region. A section south of Lucia, known as Pitkins Curve and Rain Rocks, had to be replaced with a bridge.
2017: The Big Sur region received more than 150 cm of rain. SR1 needed to be partially closed due to mudslides and landslides in six different locations. In February, Caltrans declared the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge as damaged beyond repair. Eight month closure until October 2017.
California’s Coastal Highway reopens at Gorda. By Chili & Churp | © International Destinations | More touristy information about the United States, Canada and Mexico here -> North America here.