Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Landslide leaves engineers clueless how to clear Highway 1 in Big Sur

Stand there and stare all you like, but that dirt ain't moving without a couple of construction crews

Robb Moss, a professor of civil engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo said the best-case scenario for getting the road open would be putting in a stretch of asphalt, at least temporarily, on top of the slide once the area dries out come summer. That option, though, is contingent on soil tests to determine whether the mountainside is secure.

“Hopefully, this season you can get in a couple of lanes,” he said. “But if it’s not remaining stable in the long term, you have to look at a more expensive fix.”

A condemned bridge over Pfeiffer Canyon, which has prompted a second closure of Highway 1 north of the recent slide, is expected to cost $26.5 million to replace. Several other landslides along the highway around Big Sur will cost millions more to clear.

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