A massive chunk of California's iconic Highway 1 near Big Sur collapsed into the Pacific after winter storm

·2 min read
Highway 1
Highway 1 is destroyed near Rat Creek after a landslide and heavy rains came through the area on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 in Big Sur, California Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
  • A massive section of California's scenic Highway 1 collapsed into the ocean after a storm on Thursday.

  • Officials said the road caved in due to a "slip up" that occurs when the soil is so saturated nothing can hold it.

  • The reconstruction of the highway will most likely cost millions of dollars to repair.

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California's scenic Highway 1 has been closed off after a winter storm caused a massive section of the road to collapse into the ocean below.

Local maintenance crews discovered the damage about 15 miles south of Big Sur on Thursday afternoon after a night of torrential rain. Nobody was driving on the section of the road when it caved in.

Dramatic photos of the highway posted to social media show a massive chunk of the highway missing, leaving the road disconnected.

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Jim Shivers, a spokesperson for The California Department of Transportation (Cal trans), said on Friday that the destruction to the highway is called a "slip out," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"It's where we lose a part of the highway and now we're facing a project to clean and repair that stretch," Shivers said, the Chronicle reported. "This is the only location we're aware of where this happened in the storm. Our maintenance team is patrolling the highway now to look for other damage."

Watch a video of the damage here:

The reconstruction of the road will cost millions of dollars to repair as Caltrans engineers will need to ensure it is up to state standards, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officials are also unsure of how long it will take to rebuild the piece of road.

The National Weather Service has warned of possible "life-threatening flooding and debris flows" in local areas that have been affected by burn scars from previous wildfires and continuous rainfall.

On Thursday, the storm quickly moved to Southern California the next day, bringing moderate mudslides to Orange County and hail to Los Angeles County beaches.

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