BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a massive highway rockslide in Big Sur, California (all times local):
State officials say highway damage from storms has topped $1 billion for the first time in California history.
Mark Dinger, a spokesman with the state Department of Transportation, said Tuesday that the assessment to state highways is preliminary. He said storms caused just over $1 billion in damages at 424 sites for the fiscal year that ends in June.
Last year’s damages totaled $660 million.
This year’s initial estimate does not include a massive weekend landslide that wiped out part of Highway 1 in Big Sur.
One of the wettest winters in decades in California has triggered slides and road closures along the central coast’s Big Sur, forcing some resorts to close and others to use helicopters to carry in guests and supplies.
California authorities say they will wait for a stretch of Highway 1 to stabilize again before going in to assess damage from a massive new landslide along the iconic coast road.
Department of Transportation spokesman Colin Jones said late Monday that a massive weekend landslide buried a one-third of a mile (half a kilometer) stretch of Highway 1 in up to 40 feet of new rock and dirt.
Jones says that scale of slide was unlike anything road officials have seen there. One of the wettest winters in decades in California has triggered slides and road closures along the central coast’s Big Sur, forcing some resorts to close and others to use helicopters to carry in guests and supplies.
Jones says earlier damage already had closed that stretch of Highway 1. He says repair crews removed their workers from the area last week after realizing the saturated soil was increasingly unstable.